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  • Jim Trounson

We're Becoming Too Safe


We’ve gone overboard inconveniencing ourselves and our patients.

If this in an emergency, hang up and dial 911” is my favorite example of an assault on patients. There are clinics with locked doors needing secret codes to get the patients from the reception to exam areas. I hate sliding glass windows at reception desks allegedly for HIPAA privacy.

When trying to find actual requirements for these kinds of restraints I’m being referred anecdotally to some “recommendation” by an attorney, insurance company or advisor. Unlike consultants who achieve full employment scaring physicians into hyper-compliance, MedMan stays around to manage clinics and, while complying with regulations, rationally balances safety with practicality.

The price is too high in terms of productivity and quality of our and our patients’ lives for mindless acceptance of all safety considerations. In a one-physician practice, patients listening to the 911 admonition takes them a combined thirty hours per year. Was that a consideration, and who made this decision to annoy them anyway?

I prefer a world in which the masses have fewer restrictions and delays, and we deal bravely with the occasional exceptions and offenders.