This forum discussion on failing to meet targets is worth reading. The first post ends with the proposition,
“Are targets a waste of time – they must be if no one tries to meet them – so rather than reducing people to targets – would we not be better encouraging health care professionals to do what they know is right?”
The discussion contains much of value and includes the following:
“I am very careful about the so-called “treatment targets” in medicine. They tend to make us silly doctors. My opinion goes in line with the text below (adapted from the Ten Commandments of Therapeutics by Prof. John S. Yudkin):
“Sometimes consensus groups come up with‘treatment targets’ that tell physicians what patients’ lab numbers should look like. But physicians need to take individual patients’ bodies, lives, and needs into account. An example: a consensus committee might issue a treatment target for glucose (blood sugar) control. They might say everyone should have normal blood sugar. But imagine a patient who is an 80-year-old woman who has been falling a lot. Lowering that woman’s blood sugar could increase her risk of a big bone fracture from a fall. So she should NOT be treated glibly according to a Treatment Target that might be perfectly reasonable for an otherwise healthy 30-year-old woman. Physicians and patients should especially beware any consensus issued by a committee of people who have had financial ties to drug and device makers.”
And to keep up with the times we must add the financial ties of the ISO accreditation cartel. Listen to the physicians, silly pathologists!