We might think we’re logical beings, but we, and our patients, make many decisions based on our emotions. One poignant anecdote has a bigger impact on human thinking than all the dry data on efficacy and safety that people can muster.
I like to say that medical care is more than just making the right diagnosis and prescribing the right treatment. To get patients well, you also have to get patients to take the medication. Yet those three pillars of medicine—the right diagnosis, the right treatment, and good adherence—are only half the story. The other half is delivering that care to patients.
But, oh, how different it must be for the administrators of our department and medical center! With a situation in rapid flux, they are constantly having to modify our office procedures and staffing. People are being assigned and reassigned to new tasks weekly, if not daily.
With coronavirus disease (COVID-19), our generation is seeing a plague of what has been for us unprecedented proportions. The number of Americans who will die from it will be large. The economic impact of trying to minimize the effect of this scourge will be enormous. There will likely be resulting long-term shifts in how we organize our lives that will dwarf anything we have seen before.