Concerns About Practice Guidelines
By Michael A. Fauman, MD, PhD |
December 1, 2006
All clinicians are subject to some regulation by their specialty and by society to ensure that the patients they treat are receiving appropriate care. That is simply a fact of professional life that is unlikely to change. The question is, what is the balance between freedom of action and regulation? The best solution is the one that ensures the most appropriate care for patients while interfering the least in the physician-patient relationship.
Since physicians look to their colleagues the most for consultation and guidance, perhaps this process can be formalized as a method of correcting potential biases and misinformation.12 An effective system might provide some type of real-time online peer
review and consultation system that physicians could use both to ask their colleagues for clinical advice and to observe how their colleagues have managed comparable clinical problems. The goal, as always, would be to improve the quality of care.
Dr Fauman is the author of Negotiating Managed Care: A Manual for Clinicians and Study Guide to DSM-IV-TR, both published by American Psychiatric Publishing, Inc. He is adjunct clinical associate professor of psychiatry at the University of Michigan and medical director of Magellan Health Services of Michigan.
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