What You Need to Know about Medical Treatments

You need to know the "net treatment benefit" for patients like you who have been treated in the past. You need evidence-based medicine + shared decision-making.

Crucial Decisions - Patients Need Help!

We have a big problem in healthcare! The inability to make Crucial Decisions using evidence-based medicine, patient-centered outcomes, and shared decision-making. Patients Need Help! We need to summarize medical treatments down to one number, the net treatment benefit for the patient.

The Patient-Centered Outcomes Research (PCORI) team wrote, “Every day, patients and their caregivers are faced with crucial health care decisions while lacking key information that they need.” PCORI also wrote that we need to translate “…existing scientific research into accessible and useable formats…” - PCORI.org

Universal Calculator - Treatment Scores

The video above explains the problem of shared decision-making. Everyone says they want shared decision-making, but no one can actually do evidence-based medicine with shared decision-making in a universal way, for all treatments, for all diseases. Thus, we created the Treatment Scores system to make the process transparent and visual. What is your illness? What is the list of treatments? And, what is the Treatment Score (the net treatment benefit) for each and every treatment?

Number Needed to Treat is the WRONG STATISTIC

The Number Needed to Treat is not the right statistic for patients and never has been. Patients need to know the "net treatment benefit."

Patients need to know the "net treatment benefit" for patients like them who have treated in the past as summarized from the existing medical literature, using evidence-based medicine guidelines and shared decision-making.

3 Questions to ask you Doctor

Above is a very short video of questions to ask your doctor. Treatment Scores software is a universal calculator that summarizes the benefit of any medical treatment down to one number (using the outcome measure important to the patient).

Treatment Scores solve the problems of illiteracy, personalized medicine, evidence-based medicine, and shared decision-making.

Treatment Scores are like Sabermetrics (Moneyball for Medicine). Moneyball was the very popular movie starring Brad Pitt, which was about Sabermetrics. Sabermetrics have revolutionized sports and we need to revolutionize medicine, because there is an 88% health illiteracy rate.

Questions to Ask Your Doctor

Questions to ask your doctor:

  1. What’s the diagnosis?
  2. What are all the possible treatments?
  3. What is the Treatment Score for each treatment?

Evidence-Based Medicine and Shared Decision-Making are “All hat and no cattle.”

Evidence-Based Medicine and Shared Decision-Making are “All hat and no cattle.” Farmers are great people who fix problems. I grew up on a farm and wish I was solving problems, but we seem stuck.

Everyone has been saying that we need evidence-based medicine (EBM) and shared decision-making (SDM). Patients need to be better informed, better educated, and need to be more knowledgeable. Knowledge is power, they say.

Help Patients

A physician, James Madera, MD, suggested in an article that most of the modern healthcare Digital Products and medical devices are nothing more than “snake oil.”

Dr. Madara is right. So far digital health has been "All hat and no cattle." Health information technology, big data, and natural search engine language technology are not giving us what we need. You need to be able to look down on your cell phone and get a list of treatments with Treatment Scores.

The Treatment Score = the net treatment benefit for the patient. What is pictured above is a "generic example" for fictional cancer X. If your doctor had this on his/her cell phone and you had this on your cell phone, you could actually work together and do shared decision-making, because these "example" numbers, and everything behind these numbers, can be changed according to your values and preferences.

The Treatment Score = the net treatment benefit for the patient using EBM guidelines. Treatment Scores need to be produced using shared decision-making (SDM) between the patient and the physician. 

Treatment Scores use the math of medical statistics combined with the math of economics. They can be personalized.

Doctors do not have time for evidence-based medicine; they cannot keep up with the medical literature.

Patients cannot do EBM and SDM alone. They need the tools.

Treatment Scores would solve a lot of problems. I have made a list of people, and organizations, that need Treatment Scores:

1. Patients
2. Doctors
3. Nurses
4. Health reporters 
5. Health publishers
6. Patient advocates
7. Hospitals, Medical Schools, Residencies 
8. Tumor Boards
9. Non-profits advocating for patients
10. Insurance companies (worldwide)
11. Governments (worldwide) 
12. Medicare
13. Medicaid 
14. Congress - to prioritize research

Thanks for listening.

James Madara, MD, as quoted in “AMA CEO calls digital products modern-day ‘snake oil’” By Greg Slabodkin. Health data management. June 13 2016. Accessed June 20, 2016.

Always see your own licensed physician for diagnosis and treatment. Using Treatment Scores instead of a doctor can be harmful or deadly, because the underlying medical literature is always flawed in some way.

After Being Diagnosed with a Horrible Disease

After you are diagnosed with a disease, you need to ask three questions:

  1. What are the Treatments?
  2. What is the Treatment Score for each treatment?
  3. What does each treatment cost?

Healthcare should be this simple, but it isn't.

The problem for patients is that the medical literature is in a huge, dark, underground cavern containing over 29 million disorganized medical studies.

For patients, it’s difficult to get into the cave, and after getting down there the medical vocabulary is incomprehensible and the statistics are next to impossible.

Even the most highly skilled patient cannot overcome all these obstacles and the “avalanche of big data.”

Every once in a while, a physician, nurse, or health reporter enters the cave, shines a flashlight into the darkness, and comes out to properly explain a medical treatment to someone. Then, the cave goes dark again.

Treatment Scores goes into that huge dark cavern, wires it with electricity, and turns the lights on forever.