Human touch could be saved by using robotsBMJ 2004; 329 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.329.7470.859-c (Published 07 October 2004) Cite this as: BMJ 2004;329:859
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I was interested to note that Doctor Nancy O.Connor experienced first
hand the amount of time taken by professional health care workers in
documenting information in computers in order that all the providers are
recompensed accurately for their individual participation in each
patient's hospital care. Unfortunately, she also noticed that this process
appeared to take precidence over nurse-patient and doctor-patient
interaction and communication, leaving patient's questions unanswered, and
possible clues as to a patients current recovery or imminent change in
condition being missed.
When I last visited England there was a group of Consultants that
were keen to press the government to consider Insurance Based Health Care.
Some of their reasons were that doctors would be free to deliver the care
they wanted to give rather than being restricted by NHS (National Health
Service) forumularies or NHS provision of services. I urge any one
thinking that an insurance based health care would be the answer, to think
again. The focus would move from patient centered delivery of care to one
of making sure that all services could be accounted for and charged for.
The cost of administrating an insurance based health care service is
phenomenal from the General Practioner's office or Primary Care
Physician's office right the way through all provisions of care including
hospital care. Each individual health insurance also has their own
medication formularies that change on a six monthly basis according to
what financial deals each insurance pharmacy group can strike with the
pharmaceutical companies. Those individuals on limited income, especially
those unemployed cannot afford health insurance and for them, health care
is a luxury they cannot be apart of!
Keep patients at the heart of health care, stay with the NHS, and let
nurses and doctors do what they do best, look after the patients!
Competing interests: No competing interests