When Doctors Follow Evidence-Based Guidelines Only 54 Percent Of The Time, You Get A Lot Of Unnecessary Surgeries

Flip-a-coin.jpgIn 2003, Dr. Elizabeth McGlynn and her coauthors published a blockbuster study in The New England Journal of Medicine showing that American doctors follow evidence-based guidelines only 54 percent of the time, meaning that when you receive medical treatment there’s a 50/50 chance that the treatment you’re receiving has no scientific validity to it.
The tendency within American medicine to recommend surgeries and other procedures that are not backed by evidence-based practices leads to a lot of unnecessary incisions and health care costs. Nearly two months ago, I blogged about how a large number of stent surgeries are performed in circumstances outside of those recommended by the guidelines.
Now comes new research, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, showing that twelve percent of balloon angioplasties are performed on patients under circumstances where evidence-based guidelines do not recommend it. In some hospitals, as many as twenty percent of the balloon angioplasties that were performed were outside of the guidelines.

This blog in maintained by the Boston medical malpractice lawyers at The Law Office of Alan H. Crede, P.C.