In a prior blog, we discussed the variability of treatment options available to the physician at the point of care. We cited the Dartmouth Atlas findings that coronary artery disease was treated differently in Boston, MA where medical management is the standard, compared to Los Angeles, CA where intervention angioplasty or bypass surgery is the standard. In a recent article in the New England Journal of Medicine on November 12, 2015, a study is published showing that a 15-year follow-up demonstrated no difference in outcomes between the two treatment modalities.
Once again, the power of the physician at the point of care to direct medical and financial resources is demonstrated. The impact on the patient and on the health system administering his care is enormous. Medical management utilizes generic medications, costing less than $500 over a 15 year treatment period while invasive management can cost as much as $50,000 over a 90-day period. In an era in which physicians and hospitals are receiving capitated, fixed payments from Medicare on a population basis, misallocation of expenditures can significantly affect physician reimbursement and preventive care programs for the at-risk patients.
Wouldn’t it be great if a technology existed that would permit the latest evidence-based research to be made available to the physician automatically as he is seeing the patient with the specific disease. Such a technology would enable the physician to direct the most effective and resource-protective care to the appropriate patient. This is another example of how personalized medicine works for the patient and the larger health system.
Well that technology exists today. It is Hiteks Real-time technology at the point of care that makes available curated research articles pertinent to the specific patient’s needs.