Diagnostic Infrastructure

Jason Maude jason.maude at ISABELHEALTHCARE.COM
Mon Feb 8 14:54:57 UTC 2016


Mike
Many thanks for highlighting this story. I would love to compile a compendium of similar stories such as Semmelweis and hand washing, Lister and antiseptics, Laennec and the stethoscope, Barry Marshall and hpylori. The average adoption time must be more than a generation!
Please let me know of any other notable ones to add to the list.

Regards
Jason

Jason Maude
Founder and CEO Isabel Healthcare
Tel: +1 703 879 1890
www.isabelhealthcare.com<http://www.isabelhealthcare.com/>

From: "Bruno, Michael" <mbruno at HMC.PSU.EDU<mailto:mbruno at HMC.PSU.EDU>>
Reply-To: Society to Improve Diagnosis in Medicine <IMPROVEDX at LIST.IMPROVEDIAGNOSIS.ORG<mailto:IMPROVEDX at LIST.IMPROVEDIAGNOSIS.ORG>>, "Bruno, Michael" <mbruno at HMC.PSU.EDU<mailto:mbruno at HMC.PSU.EDU>>
Date: Friday, 5 February 2016 20:32
To: "IMPROVEDX at LIST.IMPROVEDIAGNOSIS.ORG<mailto:IMPROVEDX at LIST.IMPROVEDIAGNOSIS.ORG>" <IMPROVEDX at LIST.IMPROVEDIAGNOSIS.ORG<mailto:IMPROVEDX at LIST.IMPROVEDIAGNOSIS.ORG>>
Subject: Re: [IMPROVEDX] Diagnostic Infrastructure

I think this sort of thing has been a problem throughout history.  For example, consider the classic “history of medicine” story of Scurvy and Vitamin C from the 18th Century:

“…the first attempt to give scientific basis for the cause of this disease was by a ship's surgeon in the British Royal Navy, James Lind. While at sea in May 1747, Lind provided some crew members with two oranges and one lemon per day, while others were given cider, vinegar, sulfuric acid or seawater, along with their normal rations. In the history of science this is considered to be the first occurrence of a controlled experiment comparing results on two populations of a factor applied to one group only with all other factors the same. The results conclusively showed that citrus fruits prevented the disease. Lind published his work in 1753 in his Treatise on the Scurvy1…

But doctors, as a group, generally refused to accept Lind’s results, and most clung to out-moded and unproven ideas about Scurvy, such as the idea it could be prevented by drinking acid solutions.

“…They considered that scurvy was a disease of internal putrefaction brought on by faulty digestion caused by the naval diet. Although this basic idea was given different emphases by successive theorists, the remedies they advocated (and which the navy accepted) amounted to little more than the consumption of ‘fizzy drinks’ to activate the digestive system, the most extreme of which was the regular consumption of ‘elixir of vitriol’ – sulphuric acid taken with spirits and barley water and laced with spices. In 1764, a new variant appeared. Advocated by Dr David McBride and Sir John Pringle, Surgeon General of the Army and later President of the Royal Society, this idea was that scurvy was the result of a lack of ‘fixed air’ in the tissues which could be prevented by drinking infusions of malt and wort whose fermentation within the body would stimulate digestion and restore the missing gases…”

As a direct result of stubborn and wrong-headed physician intransigence,

“…it was 1795 before the British navy adopted lemons or lime as standard issue at sea.”

No telling how many sailors were condemned to suffer and die horribly from Scurvy in the 45 year delay between 1753, when Lind’s results were first published, and 1795, when the British navy began to provision ships with citrus fruits!?!  Certainly more died from scurvy than died from actual combat.  45 years!!  That is even worse than our modern FDA delays the dissemination of proven treatments and technologies.

Have a great weekend, all!

Mike


References:       http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/british/empire_seapower/captaincook_scurvy_01.shtml,

https://dash.harvard.edu/bitstream/handle/1/8852139/Mayberry.html?sequence=2

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scurvy

and

http://www.healthaliciousness.com/articles/lind-scurvy-vitamin-C.php



From: Robert Bell [mailto:0000000296e45ec4-dmarc-request at LIST.IMPROVEDIAGNOSIS.ORG]
Sent: Friday, February 05, 2016 1:08 AM
To: IMPROVEDX at LIST.IMPROVEDIAGNOSIS.ORG<mailto:IMPROVEDX at LIST.IMPROVEDIAGNOSIS.ORG>
Subject: Re: [IMPROVEDX] Diagnostic Infrastructure

Excellent points Peggy,

The acceptance of new treatments is far too slow. I think it took about 10 years in the US  for H.  pylori to be fully acepted as a the cause of peptic ulceration and that antibiotics were the cure.

Rob
Sent from my iPad

On Feb 4, 2016, at 2:23 PM, Peggy Zuckerman <peggyzuckerman at GMAIL.COM<mailto:peggyzuckerman at GMAIL.COM>> wrote:
How do we get the error rate down when there is such diverse range of issues that cause such error?  We can certainly approach those known errors in a linear fashion, but that will have little impact in the near term, except in those cases.

Just as Bell has pointed out that neither doctors nor patients are getting the best possible information in a timely manner, that problem is not limited to Wikipedia or OpenSource documents.  A great deal of focus has been made on the difficulty of replicating clinical trial studies, of the shifts in the reported outcomes away from the initial goals of those studies, and of studies which are sadly incomplete of the data which would give clinicians greater and more reliable guidance in treatment.  Then there is the issue of the acceptance of change which might derive from those studies, said by some require at least 14 years for 50% of the clinicians incorporating even new guidelines in their practices.

Rather than focusing on one topic or type of error, there must be a cultural change in the diagnostic process.  Part of that--and there are a myriad of parts--is permitting and encouraging patients to receive and read their complete medical records.  Following that is the need for patients to correct the errors in those records, and to be able to share them freely with other family members or providers.

There also needs to be a way for a misdiagnosis or concern for such to be reviewed by a responsible party.  The sheer number of patients who are treated for something which they do not have, and at the expense in time, life and limb, is staggering.  However, imagine the resources to be freed up when they are not dispersed incorrectly and with greater long-term cost.  We all will benefit from approaching this as cultural shift, as significant in society as was the civil rights and womens' movements.

Peggy

This while thinking as a board member of the Society for Participatory Medicine (participatorymedicine.org<http://participatorymedicine.org>),as well as patient advocate.



Peggy Zuckerman
www.peggyRCC.com<http://www.peggyRCC.com>

On Thu, Feb 4, 2016 at 12:36 PM, robert bell <0000000296e45ec4-dmarc-request at list.improvediagnosis.org<mailto:0000000296e45ec4-dmarc-request at list.improvediagnosis.org>> wrote:
To all on the list.

A friend kindly sent me this:  http://www.brookings.edu/blogs/techtank/posts/2016/01/11-open-access-scientific-knowledge

It seems that much of the information that we see is obtained from Open Access information not from closed source Scientific Journals. Wikipedia editors are 47 percent more likely to use Open Source Journals for their information.

Consequently, the the public and probably also physicians are not getting the very best scientific information in a timely way.

This brings up the issue of what I will call the Diagnostic Medical Infrastructure.

If the infrastructure is not sound, information is not being distributed in the best way to physicians and the public to focus on evidence based medicine, physicians are missing a “raised" PSA test when someone has had a prostatectomy, and a large percentage of radiologists are missing an image of a "Gorilla” on an X-ray, and also a thousand and one other problems, particularly in the communication area, that in turn all lead to error, how can we hope to successfully first tackle diagnostic errors?

If the current diagnostic error rate on all patients is say 30% would it not be better to get this figure down before focussing on improving diagnoses as a whole? It may be possible to tackle the standard errors and diagnostic errors together in some way but surely some of the standard errors have to be dealt with first to save lives and injury.

Triaging some of these problems, correcting/improving them, could quickly start reducing the current diagnostic errors.

Should we first be focussing on the Diagnostic Medical Infrastructure?

Should our focus first be on the best ways to save lives and stop patient injury?

Robert M. Bell, M.D.




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