The need for Standardization. Is it neccesary? (comment)

I agree that there should be “Standards of Care” to guide the healthcare providers, but patients are not textbook. We must be able to take these standards and mold them to our individual patients to ensure they are receiving the appropriate care. I haven’t worked in the hospital for many years, but I remember having to correlate the care of my patient with 4 or 5 other ancillary services. It was difficult because each area thought their treatment was more important than the other. I felt this really harmed the patient instead of helping them. We, as providers, spent more time arguing why our procedure or treatment was better for the patient than actually treating the patient. Patient care should be based on the patient and their needs not a standard of care so to speak. When you are treating a diabetic the standard for treatment is basically the same. Diet and medication. But what one patient takes for medication may not work on another. It seems that alot of physicians get into a standard mode and start all patients on the same medication then they change it accordingly. My husband is diabetic and this is the way his physician first started. We felt he didn’t listen to us with regard to symptoms nor did we feel he looked at the test results. The first medication didn’t work. When we went back to discuss this the comment was “we start all 1st time (?) diabetics on this medication and then change accordingly” What does this mean? So, we went home and we changed his medication and he has done wonderfully. We looked at his particular case and not the overall case of a diabetic. Basically, we should have a standard of care that we hold providers to, but we shouldn’t treat all patients the same. We should treat our patients not their disease. However, because you do have physicians out there who can’t seem to work within common sense guidelines there have to be protocols in place so we can say “You didn’t perform within the standard of care. You failed your patient.”

Original Post:
March 9, 2009
It is interesting in beginning to study this module within Dr. Johnson’s course the mixed feelings on the need for standardization in health care informatics. I have watched with only a fleeting interest the continual exchanges about this topic on the CARING list serve. It did not seem an important issue to me however in reading the information in this module I have begun to develop a different attitude regarding these issues.
It is a bit mind boggling when one looks at all of the disciplines involved in healthcare and how they enter into the process of healthcare informatics. This collaboration does muddy the waters in effect when looking at standards.
An example was given early on in the readings of the standard gauge for railroads as 4feet 8.5 inches, which was the standard width of the Roman chariot. It is easy to see how the standard was created out of an early necessity for the railroad rails to fit the rail cars, which were built at the same width as a chariot.
In looking at setting standards for healthcare informatics the process is complicated by the number of players on the field so to speak. You have standards for physicians, nurses, respiratory therapists, pharmacist and many more clinical disciplines. You then add into the mix the standards for the support staff such as health information staff, bioengineering, housekeeping, buildings and grounds, electricians, purchasing, information systems and communication services. Each of these disciplines has not only their own standards but also standards for the products they use or install as a part of their job in assisting directly or indirectly with patient care.
The health care informatics professional interacts with all of these disciplines in some capacity in order to provide computer technology to improve the delivery of patient care. When one considers the chaordic nature of this process it is easy to see that standards must be developed to attempt to communicate effectively with all disciplines involved as well as with outside entities nationally and internationally especially in the advent of electronic medical records. It is also easy to see what a difficult task this is in trying to bring together all of the existing standards to one unified standard for healthcare informatics.

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One Response to “The need for Standardization. Is it neccesary? (comment)”

  1. The need for Standardization. Is it neccesary? (comment) « Naturopathy Chronicles Says:

    […] My post is in response to the post The need for Standardization. Is it neccesary? (comment). […]

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