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Impact of Evidence-Based Medicine on Unnecessary Testing

Medical malpractices which occur in many healthcare facilities across the US have created challenges for the healthcare system. Erroneous tests and procedures done by doctors have exposed patients to harm. Some of the tests done by doctors are said to be unnecessary and they increase the possibility of erroneous treatments. Some medical procedures are also harmful to patients made to undergo them. The healthcare system in the US needs to do away with unnecessary tests and procedures which do not offer any quality outcomes for patients.

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Many doctors use tests, procedures and drug prescriptions to treat patients in many facilities in the US. They help to detect and treat serious health conditions in patients thereby helping them to get better medical outcomes. However, all tests and procedures need to be evaluated for their effectiveness. If they are not done properly, tests and medical procedures can cause injuries and complications in patients (Gupta, 2012, p. A23). The healthcare policy needs to implement proactive measures that reduce these problems from occurring.

Health facilities need to reduce the practice of conducting needless tests. This will improve their operations and the quality of services they deliver to patients. More efforts need to be directed towards reducing mistakes done by doctors during treatment of patients. Doctors need to be more responsible for the safety of their patients in hospitals (Gupta, 2012, p. A23). Morbidity and mortality meetings are effective forums through which doctors can check on their errors and come up with effective solutions to reduce them. Doctors need to be active in various forums through which they can share ideas on how to improve their performance.

Evidence based medicine offers doctors and health facilities effective treatment approaches which reduce their overdependence on tests and other procedures. The health system in the US is heavily dependent on defensive medicine procedures which have led to a rise in costs and medical related errors. This makes doctors and other healthcare workers to easily understand each patient’s condition and the appropriate treatment to be used. The likelihood of mistakes being done is reduced because doctors are made aware of any health issues a patient has had in the past (Hepner, 2009, p.22). Evidence based medicine enables doctors and health providers to share information on good treatment practices. Health facilities need to shift their focus towards evidence based medicine approaches.

Health facilities need to use electronic medical systems which provide vital information to doctors about patients’ medical issues. Doctors are given electronic alerts that make them aware of the health condition of a patient before treatment is done. These alerts are vital because a doctor gets to understand the best treatment approach that is suitable for an individual patient. These alerts which are integrated with a health facility’s medical records provide doctors with more information about patients before treatment is done (Hepner, 2009, pp. 23-25). Electronic systems and alerts offer better solutions which reduce health facilities’ dependence on tests and medical procedures during treatment. Doctors become well equipped to discharge their responsibilities effectively. This helps health facilities to guarantee their patients quality treatment outcomes because medical errors are reduced substantially.

The cost of healthcare in the US has become more expensive than in the past and this has become a burden to many. This is partly attributed to the increase in unnecessary tests and procedures done by doctors in health facilities. 30 percent of healthcare funds are wasted. It is necessary to restructure the design of the health infrastructure in the US to eliminate the need for unnecessary tests and medical procedures. Evidence based medicine is a reliable way through which this problem can be solved (Shahangian & Snyder 2009, pp. 420-422). Improved collaboration between doctors will encourage them to share crucial information about patients and treatment procedures which they use. Doctors should have easy access to patient information to ensure that the treatment given to a patient is quality and safe. Health facilities need to introduce more controls on tests and procedures to ensure that they satisfy the established standards.

Health facilities need to constantly update their patients’ records. These records enable physicians to provide patients with quality treatment. Hospitals with reliable patient information have few cases of misdiagnosis and medical errors done by physicians. Physicians in such hospitals are aware of each patient’s weakness and they avoid any medicine or tests that can worsen a patient’s condition. Hospitals need to remove therapies which do not offer positive outcomes to save on costs. Doctors and healthcare facilities need to be made more accountable to their patients (Shahangian & Snyder, 2009, pp. 423-425). Hospitals need to form networks to learn from each other on effective medical practices which reduce costs and improve treatment outcomes. Health facilities need to take the issue of their patients’ safety more seriously. They need to evaluate cases of errors done by their doctors to come up with appropriate solutions that help to reduce these errors.

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References

Gupta, S. (2012). More treatment, more mistakes. The New York Times. Web.

Hepner, D.L. (2009). The role of testing in preoperative evaluation. Cleveland Clinic Journal of Medicine, 76 (4), 22-27.

Shahangian, S., & Snyder, S.R. (2009). Laboratory medicine quality indicators. American Journal of Clinical Pathology, 131, 418-431.

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