Metric Shaming

For clinicians and clinicians-to-be

Consistency bias is a strong motivator of compliance.


We all tell ourselves stories.


We clinicians make dozens of life or death decisions every day, so to survive we must tell ourselves the story that we’re good at our job. Further, our education has socialized us to appreciate the objective value of hard data. So if we’re asked to generate hard data to support the story of our value, we’ll go to some lengths to generate and analyze it.  if the data confirms that story, we find ourselves content.


Data that does not support our story, however, leaves us in a state of disharmony—a discomfort we address by trying to move those metrics in the “right”, direction.


Healthcare delivery organizations use this tendency all the time to drive metric compliance.


They create and publish metric statistics for individual clinicians and circulate the data among the medical staff for all our colleagues to see.


By implying that meeting care metrics is the same as being a good clinician, by conflating “meeting spec” with “good clinician”, they hope to shame us into changing our behavior to fulfill corporate goals.


Your tactic for success?


See this approach for what it is. It’s a compliance technique well taught in business schools with the specific intent of manipulating your behavior.


It can be used for good or bad purposes—-you have to decide based on your situation.


But either way, it’s use certainly speaks to a lack of respect for you, your skills and your judgment.


Factor that into your assessment as well.












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