Regardless of what country it is, it cannot be denied that health care is never perfect. There are flaws and shortcomings that have to be improved.
There are areas that need to be studied in order for it to be enhanced. The health care industry becomes dysfunctional due to different reasons, but one of the biggest causes of the problem is the way health care providers and medical practitioners decide. With this, medical decision making should be improved.
To improve medical decision making, medical practitioners should be aware of four things. First, they should know that a medical decision is not entirely medical. What some medical practitioners think is that there has to be various medical factors to influence a medical decision. An example of this would be how a doctor thinks of his job. A doctor sometimes thinks that rendering medical service to the person in need is highly cognitive, but in reality, it is not.
To prove this point, a doctor sometimes thinks that a family will be capable of making a rational medical decision as long as he educates them. To make the picture clearer, the definition of a medical decision should be revised. Today, to make more sensible medical decisions, it should be considered that as medical decision is also a social decision (Ellis and Hartley, 1980, p. 206).
Social risk factors should never be ignored, because if it is, then social disparities will definitely go higher because medical practitioners and the other people who are involved in the decision making process will only come up with a biased estimation of a real disease. If this happens, there will certainly be a divergence between what is estimated and what is real about a specific disease.
An example would be having two patients who come from different countries, and living completely different lives. Patient A, who will be called Michael, is a manual laborer. He has not finished high school. His life is governed by the constant pressure of his job, because being a manual worker has very high demands. What makes the pressure worse for Michael is that his job is of very low control.
The other patient will be called Paul. He is an educated professional, who is earning big, and is living a comfortable life. Both patients are diagnosed with cardiovascular disease (Ellis and Hartley, 1980, p. 206).
Technically, a medical decision can be easily made because the medical industry now offers different treatments for this disease. However, when social factors are considered in making a medical decision, the conditions of these two patients are different from each other. That does not erase the fact that they both have a cardiovascular disease, though.
Then again, to employ an effective treatment, their social backgrounds should be examined, too, because Michael is living a more risky and more dangerous life than Paul. Michael is working in a risky and dangerous environment and his condition is definitely worse than Paul’s.
The treatment given to them may be the same, because the medical practitioners failed to recognize the role of the society from which these patients acquired their disease (Smyer, et.al., 1990, p. 159).