Editorial: Are High Patient Death Rates Caused By Too Much Bureaucracy?

Has the ‘art’ of patient clinical diagnosis been lost in a series of bureaucratic and ‘scientific’ tick-box exercises in our hospitals?

Lincolnshire Trust in Special Measures, BBC July 2014

United Lincolnshire Hospitals Trust remains in special measures

Are our overworked physicians (hospital doctors) spending too little time looking at and talking to patients and too much time filling-out forms and carrying out tests blindfolded?

One of the main things that has transformed Medicine in the 20th Century has been the introduction of Scientific Method into medical treatment and diagnosis; another has been the introduction of scientific management practices to manage or rationalize healthcare for all. Examples include budgetary accounting procedures and performance targets and measures including the statistical analysis of hospital patient death rates (see link above).

Put another way: have ‘divide and conquer’ Western clinical methods of diagnosis inadvertently provided a “race to the bottom” in the rush for the mass provision of uniform standardized healthcare?

It has been recently reported that nurses for example have been so rushed by tick-box objectives that they have little time left to talk or respond to patients on an individual ‘holistic’ basis. Ward matrons have been introduced to counter this.

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Useful contact details: –

Cottingham Health Care

Local Hospitals


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