Andre Picard wrote this great short piece on Taking Patient Centred Health Care from rhetoric into reality.
It nails issues within the interpersonal side of care so well, that I have nothing to add - other than, it is worth taking a look at how financial models can help us achieve this effectively.
The excerpts I think are worth reading multiple times over:
"So, what do patients dislike about being in the health system – aside from being sick, of course?
A number of things: the helplessness; the feeling of anonymity; the discontinuity of care; the rote and the repetition; being talked about and talked to, rather than talked with; the waiting; and the loneliness."
Talk about a missing link! I find the beauty of Change doctors, is that we act as a hub for healthcare. I consider that a Change Doctor is not "the expert" with "the best and brightest solution", but an educated professional meeting a complex person and working together toward a collaborative goals. We sift through the information that has been ordered and provided by multiple care practitioners, "alternative" & conventional. We do some investigating on our own.
We sit back and recognize that it's not missing information that's the problem, it's the engagement with, the empathy toward, and astute clinical assessment of the patient's story. It is an integration of information already present, in relation to the patient in their lives.
Patients need physicians they can trust as a teammate as much as they need brilliant medical proficiency.
We've given far too many of our resources and accolades to the latter.
"[Judith John] says that in a system that has become obsessed with data, with measuring and metrics, we often lose sight of the importance of relationships, conversation and, ultimately, the person."
Out of fear and reward, we've come to inappropriately lay down our critical thinking skills and interpersonal skills in exchange for the machine that outputs data. Data is useless when there is no context. We are context driven animals; We only function "in relation to"; Meaning only comes from information as it relates to us.
One more little gold nugget that made me swoon:
"Patient-centredness has come to mean “empowerment.”
But it does not – or should not – mean giving patients everything they want, when they want it.
Health care is not an all-you-can-eat Chinese buffet. But it’s not a military exercise either, where patients must unquestionably follow orders.
In between those two extremes is the sweet spot: partnership, sharing of information, exchange of opinions, mutual respect."
Yes Yes Yes!
I find in private pay situations, the concept of "empowerment" means "give em what they ask for."; People pleasing in exchange for return visits.
In publicly funded provided services, the impetus to treat the individual as the average to ensure positive outcomes can often be dictatorial, regardless of how benevolent the doctor thinks they are - Dictators, even the benevolent ones, don't really give space for individual experience.
Instead of paying lip service to relationship based healthcare, I'm hoping that the care we provide through Change Natural Medicine Membership is walking the walk.
Change Natural Medicine. Change Healthcare.