Without evidence of benefit, an intervention should not be presumed to be beneficial or safe.

- Rogue Medic

Capnography Use Saves Lives AND Money – Part I

There is an article in JEMS that looks at capnography from the point of view of the manager only interested in what it is going to cost. How do we persuade these people to do what is best for patients?
 

Capnography: A Cost-Benefit Analysis
The evaluation of the benefits vs. the costs of using capnography can be categorized into two primary areas:
1. Benefit vs. cost of providing appropriate treatment; and
2. The avoidance of medical malpractice lawsuits/settlements.
[1]

 

An important point to notice. Patricia A. Brandt states –

1. Benefit vs. cost of providing appropriate treatment;

Appropriate, not feel good, or cool, or what the cool EMS organizations are doing.

We can also look at this from a different perspective.

Cut Rate Patient Care: A Cost-Benefit Analysis
The evaluation of the benefits vs. the costs of using cut rate patient care can be categorized into two primary areas:

1. Benefit vs. cost savings of providing cut rate treatment; and

2. The extra costs of medical malpractice lawsuits/settlements,

PLUS

3. The harm to the organization’s reputation (although, maybe they do want to be known for cheapness and low quality).

4. The possibility of driving away better EMS personnel to organizations that place patient care above back of the envelope cost/benefit analyses.

5. The reputation among the lawyers, that will have these lawyers salivating at any mention of the organization in the news. In advertising, there is a saying that, There is no such thing as bad publicity. EMS isn’t advertising. When it comes to legal liability, there definitely is bad publicity.

6. Will a lawyer have a harder time convincing a jury that an organization with a reputation for cutting corners has done something bad or an organization without that reputation?

7. Will that lawyer have a hard time getting a large settlement out of that jury?

8. What about just convincing the organization’s lawyer that a large settlement is cheaper than going to court, paying a lot of legal fees, and possibly a much larger settlement?

9. What about just placing a bull’s eye on the organization as one to go after, because you never know what will turn up during discovery.

10. What kind of witness will your employee, who encouraged you to improve the quality of care, be if that employee is still around and called to testify under oath?

11. What will happen to the organization’s insurance rates?

Yes. Mine go to 11. 😉

These organizations often do not consider most of the ramifications of their money saving decisions. I am not accusing the author of that. She is just trying to find a way to explain things to these cut rate EMS organizations and to persuade the bean counters to do what is best for patients.

To be continued in –

Capnography Use Saves Lives AND Money – Part II
Capnography Use Saves Lives AND Money – Part III
Capnography Use Saves Lives AND Money – Part IV
Capnography Use Saves Lives AND Money – Part V

An excellent source of information about waveform capnography can be found at Capnography for Paramedics.

Footnotes:

[1] Capnography Use Saves Lives & Money
By Patricia A. Brandt, RN, BSN, MHR
JEMS.com
Article

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Comments

  1. Doctors should not be put on a pedistal, yes they have trained for years but they are fallable just like the rest of us.

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