Overuse of some medical treatments – and underuse of others, when patients fail to get recommended care — are two factors linked to high medical spending in the United States.
But efforts to set “best practice guidelines” have often drawn criticism from physicians and patients as “cookbook medicine” that could limit doctors’ autonomy or restrict care for patients whose conditions fall outside the norm.
Now, though, Boston Children’s Hospital says it has found a way to create guidelines that have reduced costs and variation in care while improving patient outcomes – all without angering doctors.
Called SCAMPS, the program aims to standardize care for a variety of medical conditions – all while allowing its guidelines to evolve as new information is collected and analyzed, according to a paper published Monday in the journal Health Affairs.
“We’re creating living guidelines in a way that we can gather information and learn from every encounter,” said Dr. Michael Farias, a resident in pediatrics at the hospital and one of the program’s developers.