Minute Diagnosis: The Reasons Convenience in HealthCare is Dangerous to Your Health

Here in America we want convenience on all things: our food, our dry cleaning, and our entertainment. The latest trend lately is through the “minute clinic” where a person can get a quick diagnosis and prescription in a small “physician’s like” office at the local drug store. Health care was never intended to be aligned with the fast food industry and currently this industry is now adjusting its role to accommodate the needs of its public rather than serve the individual’s needs, here is why this is a dangerous trend;

Diagnosis of the Body Requires Proper Examination

The pressure to receive a prescription immediately causes an abbreviation of the examination process. The danger of the “minute diagnosis” is that your symptoms may be imitating something completely different than what you are feeling right now. For example, a minor heart attack may initially feel like a chest cold to most individuals. A health care professional cannot accurately tell what is going on with your health without a regular routine exam process to monitor blood pressure, blood work and record your body’s functioning over a period of time. Additionally, a complete examination process may reveal certain cancers or diseases, but that depends on the health care provider’s expertise in knowing what to look for through the examination process.

Reducing Cost In Healthcare Personnel: Would you like fries with that order?

Convenience also has its strong negative drawbacks, including the professional who is serving your medical needs. Currently “minute clinics” will hire Family Nurse Practitioners to serve in the physician’s role. Although these nurses earn their master’s degree in nursing, it is important to point out the qualifications and educational requirements of a physician versus a nurse is an obvious distinction. Additionally, your quality of health may have also been “downsized” to the very people that are working in the healthcare industry. Think that is a nurse giving you a shot? Think again! Think that is a licensed phlebotomist taking your blood? Think again! Any business, including the health care industry, considers cost when hiring the professionals that work for them; this includes the nurses and other professionals that assist the physician. The latest trend is also moving away from hiring nurses who spend anywhere from two to four years to earn their degree; who expect a salary that reflects both their experience and knowledge in the health field. A nurse may expect a salary of $15- $19 per hour, while a medical assistant (with a year of certification) is perfectly happy to accept $8- $10 to work in the same capacity. Similarly, the person who is drawing your blood may not be certified to do so, one of the most alarming secrets of the health care industry is that a phlebotomist does not have to be licensed in most states. This trend of hiring a cheaper, less qualified work force can evolve into increased mistakes for the patient, a chance that the physician or health care provider is willing to sacrifice (on your behalf) to make a profit.

Be the Consumer and Advocate for Your Rights for Effective Care

The health care industry regards the patient as a consumer and you (as the client) have a right to demand the best care possible for you and your family. Refuse to subscribe to the concept of an “instant diagnosis” for you and your family’s health care. Ask your physician as many questions as possible and demand a proper examination. In addition to “downsizing” the workforce that cares for your needs, the physician also has a time limit on sitting with you in the examination process. Another little known fact is that the schedule only allows for only minutes per patient in the physician’s clinic. Remember, it is impossible for any health care professional to accurately diagnose within minutes of meeting the patient without a complete examination. Additionally, if the physician is unwilling to take the amount of time needed to listen to your questions and symptoms, then “fire” him and “hire” a professional who will! Your right as the consumer is to demand the best care possible and to have a physician who will attend to you and your family’s needs. Ask the necessary questions, make certain that the professional(s) is qualified, and do not accept the concept of a “minute diagnosis” for your symptoms. Your health may very well dependent on it!

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