Partnering with patients makes sense
A good physician helps patients examine options and works alongside them to find that best possible plan of action. Patients are viewed as partners in their health decisions. Both physicians and patients bring expertise to a consultation:
- Physicians know about medical options, and the risks and benefits associated with them. If they are highly specialized or involved in research, they may also know about groundbreaking options that others do not.
- Patients know details of their physical condition and how it affects their lives, medical and family history, and ability to pursue various options. They may also know details about their condition or treatment options that they learned through research since finding solutions to their health condition is paramount in their lives.
Better decisions are made when the knowledge and expertise of both are shared. Another benefit of shared decisions is that patients are more likely to follow through with treatment or additional assessments when they understand and concur with a plan of action.
How doctors can help PRD:
- Incorporate patient accounts of functional status in assessments of disease activity.
- Investigate current research of the newest treatment approaches.
- Inform patients about all available options for treatments.
- Include patients’ questions and goals in discussions of treatment options.
MORE ON ENGAGING PATIENTS TO IMPROVE CARE
Physician’s Guide to the Patient-Centered Interview, Michael Bednarski, PhD, 2009
Documenting the Value of Care for Rheumatoid Arthritis, Analogous to Hypertension, Diabetes, and Hyperlipidemia: Is Control of Individual Patient Self-Report Measures of Global Estimate and Physical Function More Valuable Than Laboratory Tests, Radiographs, Indices, or Remission Criteria? Ted Pincus, 2013
E-Patients: how they can help us heal healthcare, Tom Ferguson, M.D., 2007
Blogs of participatory physicians
Mike Sevilla, family practice
Leana Wen, emergency room physician
Rob Lamberts & direct-contract family practice
Danny Sands, co-founder Society for Participatory Medicine
Howard Luks, orthopedist
Roni Zeiger, urgent care physician & former Chief Health Strategist at Google
Peter Elias, family practice
Lothar Kirsch, rheumatologist
Shashank Akerkar, rheumatologist
Carlo Caballero, rheumatologist