Dr Sean C. Dowdy on Delays Between Discovering Improved Treatment, Practice and the Application of It

Sean C. Dowdy, MD, chair, division of gynecologic surgery, department of obstetrics and gynecology, Mayo Clinic, discusses identified factors that cause prolonged delays between discovering an improved treatment or practice and the application of it.

Sean C. Dowdy, MD, chair, division of gynecologic surgery, department of obstetrics and gynecology, Mayo Clinic, discusses identified factors that cause prolonged delays between discovering an improved treatment or practice and the application of it.

Transcript

What factors have you identified that cause prolonged delays between discovering an improved treatment or practice and the application of it?

Well, that’s a problem for the entire medical system. There have been publications looking at what is the gap between knowledge and implementing

knowledge that’s learned in the lab, or just in clinical practice. An average gap is about 11 years, which is far too long. This needs to be something that we have in our culture of taking on new initiatives. So, that’s something that I think happens more in tertiary care centers and academic centers than in private practices.

That’s not always true; certainly, we have some private practitioners who are very up on the latest techniques and management. But, in general, it takes far too long to implement things in the practice, and there’s just not a lot of great incentives to do that. It’s much easier for physicians just to do today what they did 20 years ago, but that’s obviously not optimal patients. So, I think we need better guidelines, we need better quality indicators, to determine who is providing good care for patients, and provide incentives to change our practice with time.