Can teams trump technology in the new healthcare debate? I ask because I find myself frustrated by patient after patient we see in our SALSA unit, referred from elsewhere, who have been relegated to amputation. This is not because they haven’t had access to technology. In fact, most have had extensive work done. What frustrates me, and I know my SALSA partners, as well, is the lack to access to team.
I am, as we speak, sitting in front of an x-ray of a patient who had extensive endovascular intervention– but no follow-through to manage her complex wound when the isolated procedure failed. Why? The cynic would suggest that it is because the procedure was reimbursed well, but the necessary healing and preventative followup was perhaps less fiscally rewarding. Therefore, one may posit it easier to justify doing nothing or cutting the limb off.
The point is that our current healthcare discussion must work out some sort of balance to support medical and surgical teamwork instead of simply one-off fee for service proceduralism. I know there must be a way. Too many smart people are involved and committed for this opportunity to pass.