Health Shortcuts and the Path Less Traveled: Speed versus efficiency has huge implications in delivering quality health care services, says Dr. Harlan Sparer.
Jan 30, 2016 12:49PM
People like to say, “Let me do this for you real quick.” There seems to be an obsession with speed, as opposed to efficiency. This is especially the case when it comes to health. Fast food is fat food, leading to a state of disease, and the cookie-cutter approach affects every aspect of our life in a bad way.
There is a much-posted Facebook meme that shows a seemingly simple and quick solution to the pesticides present in fruits and vegetables. According to the posts, there is no need to purchase organic produce. Simple immersion in vinegar and water for 10 minutes will solve the pesticide problem, rendering the produce “clean”. A minimal knowledge of high school biochemistry and botany demonstrates that the produce absorbs the pesticides with each successive spraying during its growth, thus inundating the entire plant with the pesticide. Once this has occurred, the only treatment rendering the pesticides harmless is incineration. The “quick solution” deficiency is a common thread throughout life lately. Sadly, this meme encourages people to continue to consume pesticide-laden food which has been clearly demonstrated to cause disease, creating the need for more health care.
Health care is commonly delivered in limited fashion by generalists in a great hurry or by an increasing number of specialists with a narrower focus that rarely communicate with each other when treating a case. The typical scenario demonstrates narrow time limits that are imposed by the doctor for both face-to-face time, as well as careful analysis. It’s like the famous Saturday Night Live routine with the diner that only serves cheeseburgers. “…turnover, we got to have turnover,” they say. “Cheeburger?” We don’t want a cheeseburger for breakfast.
Insurance auditors are eroding away quality health care for all of those willing to accept increasingly minimal standards in the name of someone else’s bottom line. There is essentially one solution to this quandary. Find a gifted health care provider, regardless of insurance coverage. Most of the good ones maintain a cash practice so they don’t have to treat patients by asking permission from an auditor first.
It appears more expensive to have quality rather than the cookie cutter, but actually, it is far more expensive to save money on one’s body and well-being. There is a Yiddish term for this, “kishkeh gelt.” It literally translates as gut money. The term is slang for when people save money on their bodies only to pay later with decreased and limited quality of life, pain, disease and early death. We must take care of our body, because replacement parts are rare and of inferior quality.