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When Data in Medicine is the Enemy

Daniel Paull MD explains that there is a lot of focus on data in medicine, which often leads to misplaced values and missing the point entirely.

March 4, 2022

We are a data driven society.

Data and technology are often seen as ways to conquer the problems that we have today.

Many are trying to apply this to healthcare.

More data and technology will of course lead to better healthcare right?

It depends on how it’s used.

 

If you are using data to find out why your ICU has a higher infection rate than all of the other ICUS then the data will lead to better care.

If you are using data in medicine to decide who is providing a higher “quality” of care tied to reimbursements, then it will have terrible results.

Any time that data metrics are used to determine pay, people will game the system. This is no different for medicine.

 

Any time that data metrics are used to determine pay, people will game the system. This is no different for medicine. Click To Tweet

 

Facilities will stop seeing difficult or noncompliant patients that mess up their numbers.

Tangible numbers will be hit by sacrificing the intangibles.

Not to mention the burden of data collection, which will only take away time spent with the patient, and regularly leads to worse care.

Data can sometimes be the enemy.

 

Tangible numbers will be hit by sacrificing the intangibles.

 

What is most important isn’t always easy to measure, and what is easy to measure isn’t always important.

The myriad of technological solutions that many are offering to better our healthcare system miss the mark and are largely efforts placed in the wrong direction.

All opinions published on SomeDocs-Mag are the author’s and do not reflect the official position of SoMeDocs, its staff, editors. SoMeDocs is a magazine built with the safety of free expression and diverse perspectives in mind. For more information, or to submit your own opinion, please see our submission guidelines or email opmed@doximity.com. Do you have a compelling personal story you’d like to see published on SoMeDocs? Find out what we’re looking for here and submit your writing, or send us a pitch.

All opinions published on SomeDocs-Mag are the author’s and do not reflect the official position of SoMeDocs, its staff, editors. SoMeDocs is a magazine built with the safety of free expression and diverse perspectives in mind. Do you have a compelling personal story you’d like to see published on SoMeDocs? Submit your own article now here.

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