A survey published in PLOS ONE gives physicians’ perspective on over-treatment. Of the 2,327 respondents, nearly 85 percent cited fear of malpractice suits as a major cause of unnecessary care. They cited pressure from patients 59 percent of the time, and around 38 percent referenced issues regarding access to medical records.
Daniel Brotman, M.D., professor of medicine at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, and one of the report’s authors, wrote: “Interestingly, but not surprisingly, physicians implicated their colleagues (more so than themselves) in providing wasteful care. This highlights the need to objectively measure and report wasteful practices on a provider or practice level.”
In the course of the survey, researchers also solicited potential solutions to the problem from physicians. The top three responses, as summarized by FierceHealthcare:
- “Improve training for medical residents so that they monitor specific criteria related to the appropriateness of a given procedure, test or prescription.
- “Continue to work to improve access to health records so that physicians have the information they need to make fully informed decisions about necessary tests and treatment.
- “Improve guidelines for evidence-based care practices, so that doctors and patients can refer to a scientific basis for the best avenue of treatment for a given diagnosis.”
To read the survey article, please hit this link. To read the FierceHealthcare commentary on it, please hit this link.