Saturday, April 19, 2008

A Fetish For Numbers

A Fetish For Numbers: Hospital Care:

"So many numbers we lose sight of the person. Scientists measure what they can measure and pronounce the rest to be unimportant. But the most important parts of life are qualitative. One of the physicians on my study team told us that it can take as long as 20 minutes to fill out all the required forms while she is in front of the patient, yet she is only allowed 15 minutes to attend to each patient... One physician told of watching a nurse busily record all of the numerical indications about a patient’s circulatory and respiratory systems, but with insufficient time to think about the meaning of the numbers and insufficient time to look at the patient: a five-second glance would have sufficed to show that the patient was having extreme difficulty breathing."

An interesting concept: The National Academies

"The National Academies perform an unparalleled public service by bringing together committees of experts in all areas of scientific and technological endeavor. These experts serve pro bono to address critical national issues and give advice to the federal government and the public."

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