I recently sat through a meeting with an administrator, who came prepared with a folder full of charts, schedules and power points and the discussion ensued as to how we should and could become more productive if we only followed the new and exciting schedule/protocol/coding system. Funny how someone who has never seen a patient, diagnosed an illness, taken a night of call, or actually generated an income is now able to tell you how you can best practice your profession. I’m not necessarily resentful (well maybe just a little) of these bean-counters, because I recognize that you can’t survive in today’s business world without them. It’s just kind of sad that we have passively allowed the government to take control of the profession so that we actually NEED the multiple levels of managers and bean-counters to survive in today’s climate. Yes, the multicolored schedule chart looks great, fits perfectly with the time allotted and available personnel, and the projected percentages of full scheduling and income are appealing…..but the unknown uncontrolled factor is the one human being you are actually there for…..THE PATIENT.
It used to be that you could schedule a reasonable amount of time, see a reasonable number of patients, code for some reasonable charge and enjoy your profession. Now, because of numerous government regulations and interventions, and decreased reimbursements for services, time is taken away from the real purpose of medicine to gimmicky methods of survival in the business world. And there seems to be a never ending layer of people exacting an income from the exorbitant cost of health care, on the backs of the physician and patient.
It all looks good on paper, the charts and graphs predict efficiency and success, until the human factor surfaces. The office visit that is scheduled as a sore throat, that actually behind the closed door of an exam room is sexual abuse. The well visit that actually is a foster child with numerous social and emotional issues in addition to health concerns. The rambunctious kindergarten boy who is told that there is something wrong because he won’t ‘focus’. The first-time mom who is overwhelmed with fear and responsibility. These all take time….and often tears….that there is no diagnostic ‘code’ to apply….and are the administrators and bean-counters nightmare. But that’s what makes me go to work every day.
Teachers, I feel your pain. I have seen how those administrators, government officials and bean-counters in your world are wrecking the system and ruining the profession. What was once a profession whose purpose centered around the needs of the student, has now become a job centered around how best to generate data—to make the system look successful and bring in funding to continue the scheme for another year. It’s no longer about education of children, it’s about teaching children how to take a test….how to ‘bubble-in’ instead of how to think. But to you educators who have not given up on the original purpose, who continue to go to work every day, and who are now beginning to speak up to reclaim your profession, I am cheering you on. For as in my profession, there are way too many administrators, bean-counters, and the like who are making a living off the backs of the teachers and students.
For the rest of the professionals who are just hanging on until the next administration/next promotion/retirement, I would say, come on over. It’s much more fun to be a Rebel. No implication or reference to historical figure, flag or ideology intended and I acknowledge the ridiculousness of this disclaimer—hope all of you teetering on the cusp of offense find the humor intended.