“Physicians can and should find different vehicles to communicate with patients in an ongoing manner like a consultant to a client.”
More and more physicians are voicing a simple concept: the need to deliver the right diagnosis by spending time with patients.
According to the recently released, “When Doctors Don’t Listen” written by Leana Wen, MD and Joshua Kosowsky, MD , doctors have long been encouraged to be safe instead of getting it right. Factors contributing to this issue included current reliance upon outdated diagnostic protocols and a fear of malpractice suits. They contend that improved doctor/patient meetings can overcome the outcomes of the current “cookbook medicine” model.
As former Los Angeles County Medical Association President Marcy Zwelling, MD has stated on www.ClinicalNotebook.com, a key to good healthcare like anything else is relationships ….and relationships between doctors and patients can and must be improved. A recent study cites that almost 1/3 of all patients admit lying to their doctor. On top of that, top complaints of physicians and patients isn’t just lack of time but lack of quality time. So, when we consider motivations by patients to omit health truths and medical offices encouraging greater efficiency through one-size-all formulas or standardized practices, there is no opportunity to create the needed exchange of ideas and information or even the basic basis of that healthy relationship.
Medical journals suggest that patients engage their doctors, question their diagnosis and become partners in the process. That will work only if patients are better informed.
Better informed patients will indeed lead to better patient care. To create a better informed public, there needs to be more access and easier access to health information. Physicians can and should find different vehicles to communicate with patients in an ongoing manner like a consultant to a client. Is good healthcare possible for a patient, if he or she received health suggestions and information ten minutes every three or six months? Of course not. Many physicians (many Concierge and Private Practice physicians) make their opinions available to their patients in numerous forms of media on a continuous basis from newsletters to blogs to websites. Here, information is dispensed and available continuously and at a time of the patients choosing. The more information shared by patients, the more impactful and efficient their medical visits.
Patients should ask their doctor to elaborate about an identified medical problem but can only do so if they know what to ask.
When that patient is better informed, visits will be effective ….whether or not they are sixty minutes or ten minutes or via Virtual Visit or in the office.