“We don’t know how to measure what we care about so we care about what we measure.” This quote comes from Chris Dancy in his provocative book, Don’t Unplug.
While it references technology, the quote captures the problem with modern medicine’s obsession with numbers. Measuring to manage is okay as long as we’re measuring the right stuff.
Usually we’re not measuring the right stuff. And what we measure is often misaligned with the needs and values of those under our care.
The trending of the relative value unit is a good example. There isn’t a patient in the free world who cares about how many patients their doctor can see in an afternoon. It’s a metric aligned with the values of the medical industrialist and the health professional incented to do things to people.
Instead of valuing RVUs we need to measure the units that support our values.
I guess that starts with deciding what we care about.