Sunday, July 20, 2008

Patient centered medicine

One of the easiest ways to make medicine more patient-centered is by allowing patients to enter information in their own medical records. At present, even though the medical record is all about the patient's medical history , most doctors and hospitals do not even allow patients to see their own records. I think this is ridiculous !

For example, in our own practise, after taking a history and formulating a diagnostic and treatment plan, I write this down ; and read it back to the patient, so that the patient knows exactly what's in their own medical record. I always make entries in front of the patient - and explain to them what I have written, so they know what's happening.

This simple practise has multiple benefits - for my patients and for me.

1. It empowers patients by involving them in their treatment. It shows them that I respect them and am willing to explain what is happening to them. It helps to demystify their medical treatment ; and they understand that medical terms are not Latin - they can make sense of them !

2. It ensures that I do not forget important medical details. If I do so inadvertently, my patients will correct me promptly ! This helps to reduce medical errors.

3. It helps in making sure that we are on the same page. Explaining the medical record is a great tool for improving doctor-patient communication and ensuring that we have the same priorities and are headed in the same direction.

4. It's a great way of risk management. Explaining the record to the patient is an effective way of documenting that the patient knows what's happening - and that the facts have been explained to him !

No comments:

Post a Comment

Get A Free IVF Second Opinion

Dr Malpani would be happy to provide a second opinion on your problem.

Consult Now!