The thoughts and opinions of a 35 year board certified emergency medicine physician blogging about everyday life, the role technology has played in the emergency department business, and the art of practicing medicine. The times have changed: Health-care IT, EHRs and Meaningful Use!
Monday, July 18, 2011
Treatment Protocols, Cookbook Medicine, and the Food Network
Treatment protocols for Sepsis, ACS, STEMI, GI Bleeding, Coagulopathy, Hypertension, Pneumonia, etc. have been created to aid the clinician in giving the best evidence-based treatment plans. These can be attached to the CPOE and be used easily. The advantages are not “reinventing the wheel”, using UTD treatment plans or bundles, and give the support staff parameters of how to adjust the medicines per response of the patient.
Criticism has arisen because this is cookbook, formulaic medicine that is unnecessary and intrusive, making the individual feel his/her plans are superior. Our ED group has chosen to emphasize protocols for critical patients to give the patient the best statistical shot at success.
Being a fan of the Food Network and their creativity, it is apparent that cooking is a function of chemistry. All the great cooks use basic protocols (recipes) to get started and adjust them with nuance and art.
The same can be done with medical protocols when they are used as a basic approach. The “Art of Medicine” (experience, knowledge, empathy, spirituality, gestalt) can then be added to make the protocols “state of the art”.