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Why doctors make so many mistakes and How information technology can solve it ?

posted Aug 17, 2012, 8:08 AM by Vishal Singh   [ updated Aug 17, 2012, 8:09 AM ]
This  blog post by Sanjeev does a brilliant analysis on  why doctors make so many mistakes.

Let me quote what he has said.

The main reason why this continues to happen is because doctors (and economists) don't usually get feedback. The patient who is diagnosed wrongly simply never comes back, and goes to another doctor. So the doctor thinks he has cured the patient, but the patient was not cured, and will never return. And when a patient DOES provide feedback (as I've provided to one of my eye doctors), the doctor is so stunned that he doesn't learn.

This is true. There is no effective feedback in the current scenario. Information technology can provide a solution. What is required is an EMR system to have mechanism to capture voice of the customer. But there is still a challenge. If you do not like the  doctor's treatments and  you have stopped visiting him then there is no way you will give him  feedback online.  This may work for hospital chains where the hospital management will value honest feedback, as it can rate the work of its staff.  But for the many of hospitals and doctors found in Indian  neighbourhood  this will not work, unless the doctor or hospital really want to hear honest feedback.People may complain on various portals  but complaining is different than giving honest  feedback.

This can be only solved by incentivising honest feedback. There could be various ways.  It could be by offering a free check-up

The key is that a feedback mechanism will help a doctor and hospital tremendously. A EMR along with tweaking of the current processes in a health care institute can go a long way in receiving honest feedback. If people see a health care institute valuing  honest feedback then they will still have a positive opinion, even if the treatment has not worked for them.