I am privileged to interact with hundreds of people/patients each week. Some in my office, and many more online. My focus is to listen, engage, listen, educate, solicit questions, listen, engage, empower, listen, teach and place you at the center of your health delivery team and decision making process, as much as our current system allows.
Most of my days in the office are spent utilizing non-verbal cues, visual communications and learning tools, and web or iPad platforms to accomplish those goals. Do I “succeed”… hopefully. But if I fail to get nearly 100% buy-in or adoption by my patients, that leaves a huge number of patients who are still lost as they start to navigate the complicated and potentially treacherous healthcare waters.
This situation is far from perfect. In many respects, it’s far from acceptable.
- to feel that they are being listened to
- encouraged to tell me exactly how their issue affects their everyday lifestyle and activities
- to be served content in a manner they choose to receive it
- have the ability to revisit that content in the comfort of their own home with a trusted companion or adviser to help them sort through their issues and realistic options for their treatments
- realistic understanding of goals, objectives, risks, benefits and alternatives
- a secure backchannel communications mechanism to clear the windshield of doubt when the inevitable questions arise after they can finally process the information they were given
- …and so much more.
Does your physician’s office employ platforms or technologies to encourage this? Or are you just being pushed through the system by a physician extender … being referred for useless or potentially harmful studies that may not impact the care plan or treatment regimen — with few means of communicating back to your physician, except for the telephone What are you doing about it? Some patients are expressing their dissatisfaction with their two feet. More will need to do so if the system is going to change.
Patients will be the drivers for disruptive innovation in healthcare!
I walk the walk and talk the talk.. I practice what I preach…. and I derive an enormous amount of satisfaction from doing so. I feel privileged to be able to treat you, or offer advice for those who reach out remotely. My presence online (and re-defined presence in my office) has reinvigorated my interests and pursuits as a physician like no other medical technological advancement could have done. Your continued praise and comments light up my day (and I’m not alone).
But our system is far from perfect! One day, perhaps, all patients will be treated in a system that places them in the center… and revolves the system around them — until then, I’ll keep innovating along the fringes and practicing medicine in a manner in which I would want to be treated when that inevitable day arrives.