Overdoing Healthcare

One day a few years ago a patient was wheeled into a unit post-procedure.

Her breathing was labored as she wriggled her limbs. Her blood pressure and other signs indicated she was in hypertensive crisis.

The residents and other other staff surrounded her working hard to figure out the problem. Antihypertensives were ordered.

Still no resolution. Then more talk and more work and more drugs.

A lot of energy and stress were being expended to resolve her hypertensive crisis.

When one of the nurses came over to help s/he noticed one little fact: the patient wasn’t loaded up with enough pain medication.


A very simple problem that explains all the above.

When you look around at all of the work being done in Healthcare – efforts in HIT, payment reform, etc. – how much is hard work solving the wrong problems?

It’s easy to overdo Healthcare when you don’t undertand what’s going on with the patient.

Phil Baumann



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