In her feature article for the recent ADVANCE for Respiratory Care and Sleep Medicine e-Newsletter, “Making a Case for Hospital Wellness Programs” Jacquelyn Woodworth, MBA, RRT, prevails upon “educated” medical professionals involved in the future of healthcare and community wellness to “strive to deliver ideal care that is more standardized and preventative.”
Personally, I am uncomfortable with that word “ideal.” Webster’s online dictionary defines ideal as “existing as a mental image or in fancy or imagination only; broadly: lacking practicality.” Given this, the towering notion of “ideal care” is realistically best left for the final frontier. Instead, I believe that we should limit our care approach to the evidence; to those practical practices that demonstrate proven efficacy and that we should leave off those approaches that prove to be of little or no measurable benefit.
All “sacred cows” must be put to pasture to make room for evidence-based guidelines supporting clinical practice that provides the most value at the lowest cost (see my blog “Healthy ROI”). Long-term patient wellness is important, even integral to overall cost reduction and value-based quality in the healthcare of here and now. But when it comes to the idyllic I tend to agree with John Malkovich when he observed; “Utopia means elsewhere.”