California Workers’ Compensation Law has adopted the concept of Evidence Based Medicine as a means of allocating medical care to Injured Workers. A British Medicine Journal article should perhaps serve as a “wake up” call for the Department of Industrial Relations as to whether this reliance on EBM should be re-visited. The article entitled “The Illusion of Evidence Based Medicine.”
Evidence Based Medicine attempts to quantify the value of forms of medical treatment. Evidence Based Medicine can conduct various studies to determine whether particular surgeries, medications, treatments, or therapies are helpful to patients. Arguably, this is analogous to taking a survey on which ice cream flavor one likes. If there is a large consensus on vanilla, then there is a likelihood that vanilla will be served to everyone wanting ice cream. You, however, may prefer chocolate and derive much satisfaction from it.
Evidence Based Medicine depends upon reliable data from studies. It is reported, however, that confidential pharmaceutical industry documents have given insight that misrepresentations are present in the findings. This leads the author’s to conclude that evidence based medicine is an illusion. In other terms, Evidence Based Medicine, without proper evidence, is bogus.
The Workers’ Compensation System is premised on medical probability. Any false or inaccurate information, from any source, compromises the system. This includes opinions concerning medical treatment. Thus, bogus scientific studies cannot be used to deny medical care. Therefore, it would be wise if the Department of Industrial Relations reach out to those who administrate the medical authorization to address the serious concern raised by the article.
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