Bmj Usa: Editor's Choice

Can you see caring through pinholes?

BMJ 2003; 327 doi: (Published 19 November 2003) Cite this as: BMJ 2003;327:E169

From BMJ USA 2002;Dec:644

Doctors in America are now accustomed to being judged by arcane metrics. Depending on who is judging us, we are measured by performance indicators (eg, the average glycohemoglobin level we achieve with diabetics), how we code office visits, the length of stay of our hospitalized patients, whether we use the formulary statin, and any other number of parameters that say little about the quality of the care we provide. Doctors can score well on these metrics and have horrible bedside manner, and vice versa.

The evaluators haven't a clue about our caring, and yet that is what patients value most and find most deficient in today's health care experience. What they resent most is not the omission of a …

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