August 10, 2007

Control issues

Filed under: — mlazoff

Retired cardiologist, researcher, teacher and author Richard N. Fogoros, MD’s commentary (on Dr. Scot Silverstein’s Health Care Renewal post regarding the peripheralization of physicians in medical informatics) is an interesting read. Dr. Fogoros closes:

“To reiterate, medical informatics is incredibly important today, because those who control the outcome of the analyses performed therein will (ultimately) control the practice of medicine. Docs are already being trained to accept, as received knowledge, ‘quality’ measures from on-high. Pay for Performance is a major step in that direction. So this is a critical time for those running medical informatics efforts. Precedents are being set (in terms of establishing physician responses to centralized directives) that will probably hold for at least a few generations. If the ‘real’ purpose of Pay for Performance and other physician behavior-mod efforts (efforts that fundamentally rely on medical informatics for their legitimacy) is to control costs rather than to improve quality, you just can’t let doctors run the show. It’s too risky.”

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