Could patients' picture improve pathologists' peformance?

Nilf

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  1. Attending Physician
    Check this out:

    WSJ healthblog:

    Israeli researchers found that the interpretation of CT scans improved when a snapshot of the patient automatically appeared in the images reviewed by the radiologist at a computerized work station.

    Basically... You see a mugshot of the patient, and this increases your work performance.

    We could use a similar study in pathology.

    http://blogs.wsj.com/health/2008/12/02/personal-pictures-might-improve-radiology-results/
     

    yaah

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    1. Attending Physician
      Maybe they should also add in pertinent things like, "The patient has three children and is their sole means of support." Or, some computer could sift through data and give the pathologist a user-appropriate factoid. If the pathologist is a Milwaukee Bucks fan, for example, the computer could tell the pathologist that in addition to having three children, the patient has season tickets to the Bucks.

      To me, this all seems kind of questionable. What it implies is that physician performance and quality of work slides or declines when the patient becomes a "number" as opposed to a real person. While this may be true for some, I don't know what that really means. Seems too manipulative.
       

      docbiohazard

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        To me, this all seems kind of questionable. What it implies is that physician performance and quality of work slides or declines when the patient becomes a "number" as opposed to a real person. While this may be true for some, I don't know what that really means. Seems too manipulative.

        I find it totally believeable. You could probably replicate the results in Pathology.

        DBH
         
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        docmike1983

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          Pathologist are supposed to be objective. While knowledge of the patients clinical presentation is important, a picture of the patient is not. It allows for an emotional element which may unknowningly interfere with pathological diagnosis.
           

          Nilf

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          1. Attending Physician
            Maybe they should also add in pertinent things like, "The patient has three children and is their sole means of support." Or, some computer could sift through data and give the pathologist a user-appropriate factoid. If the pathologist is a Milwaukee Bucks fan, for example, the computer could tell the pathologist that in addition to having three children, the patient has season tickets to the Bucks.

            To me, this all seems kind of questionable. What it implies is that physician performance and quality of work slides or declines when the patient becomes a "number" as opposed to a real person. While this may be true for some, I don't know what that really means. Seems too manipulative.

            Maybe it's not just a good idea after all. I have a strong suspicion that Yankee fans would report worse outcomes than controls.
             
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