What is Best Practice ?
The best care is provided when there is an outcome-based bottom line that is at least as important as the financial bottom line.
Best healthcare practice involves one theme which leads directly to better patient outcomes: fostering a patient-centered environment, based on openness, mutual respect and mutual responsibility. These qualities apply to provider-patient interactions, as well as to provider-provider interactions, so that healthcare team members share adverse events, as well as expertise, for the benefit of the patient.
Perhaps most importantly, we need to define the therapeutic relationship as more than a monetary transaction. The patient places trust in their provider. Ideally, the provider gives the patient what they need, and takes away from the interaction evidence and experience that will expand the provider's ability to provide future patients with an even higher level of care.
For multiple reasons, today's healthcare system is not consistently aligned to optimize the therapeutic relationship.
While medicine has come a long way from the College of Barbers and Surgeons (see below), our understanding of the human body's complex systems, and their even more complex interactions, is still incomplete. The plethora of healthcare adjuncts and their practitioners (see Glossary below) is a consequence of this incomplete understanding.
It might be said that each of the many providers probably has something useful to offer to a specific patient in a specific state of health or disease. Their contribution should not be dismissed out of hand. Studying patient-provider interactions correlated with outcomes, may disclose some useful common factors.
Even if it should turn out that most of the good outcomes are the result of the body's vast potential for self-healing, and not a specific intervention, we will have learned a valuable lesson.