The other day, I had an interesting conversation with one of our Telluride colleagues. The topic of our discussion was the “business of medicine,” but somewhere in our talk we started to realize something very unique to the practice of medicine. If the field of medicine is “just another example of a service industry,” as some proclaim, then why do we consistently fail to uphold the standards of excellent customer service?
Why are we okay with autrocious rates of mortality associated with sepsis? How do we still allow impaired medical providers to perform the most delicate task of serving others? Why are we consistently allowing the same human mistakes to occur and harm our patients? We talked a lot about the parallels of the airline industry to medicine, and while the model of safe practice has been nearly perfected in aviation, we are still trying to understand and apply… Continue reading