The Baby with the Bathwater
There has been so much chatter here in the UK about the "patient experience" and collecting the qualitative data to ensure a "positive patient journey." Many of the NHS guidelines focus on outcomes that embrace this idea.
That's nice. I believe that patients should have as positive an experience as possible, be treated with utmost respect, be allowed as much autonomy as possible in their treatment choices, and be empowered to call out poor practice. These qualitative measures can have a real impact on better care and outcomes.
But what about clinical measures and objective outcomes? It seems that these have become passé and no longer necessary, according to some colleagues. I've heard it said that, "Those are no longer part of the guidelines!" Hmmm. Just because the NHS has decided to focus on an area that needed improvement doesn't mean we don't bother with clinical interventions anymore, does it?
An analogy: You board an airplane, and are courteously greeted, shown to a comfortable seat with onboard entertainment that you control as you wish. The lighting works and is within your control. Your meals are exactly what you would choose and well-prepared. You're allowed to nap in peace, play games on the console, and walk about the plane at will. All in all you have a perfect passenger experience. Except for one little thing... the plane never goes anywhere. Would you pay for that? Isn't that what is being suggested by some of my colleagues? Treat patients beautifully, but don't bother getting them where they need to go.