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No, the patient/customer is not always right!

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You want your pills in a plastic or paper bag?

Ray Benaroch, M.D., a pediatrician, pushes back against the idea that patients, er customers, should be treated as if they’re always right in these days of regulators, administrators and others trying to make medicine into a business (like a store) instead of a profession. And he says that the new commoditization of medicine is leading to preventable illnesses.

“Administrators and patients don’t want to hear this, but in healthcare, the ‘customer’ is not always right. And pretending that the customer is always right is costing us a whole lot of money and a whole lot of preventable sickness. We’re customer servicing ourselves into crappy healthcare, and docs and nurses seem to lack the power to prevent this from getting worse.”

And:

“It’s not just antibiotics, of course. In emergency departments all over the country, customer service and positive ‘reviews‘ are what drives physician salaries and hiring. You don’t make your patients happy, you’re going to take a pay cut or lose your job. But what if your patients — I’m sorry, customers — want something that isn’t good for them, like narcotics for chronic pain.”

To read the entire post in MedPage today, please hit this link.

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