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Wednesday, June 1, 2011

10 Mistakes Doctors Make with their Patients

The patient - doctor relationship is one that is so important for optimal health outcomes.  It is meant to be a "partnership", but in many cases, a Doctor's behavior can get in the way of optimal care:

If this sounds vaguely familiar, you may have read 10 mistakes Patients Make with their Doctors by Don Ammon the other day, either on the Action for Better Healthcare Site, or on Healthcare Finance News' Blog pages.

So, here is my set of the top 10 mistakes Doctors make with their patients.

1.  Paying attention to my chart, your computer or anything else but me for the first five minutes of our visit.
2.  Leaving out information in my treatment options.
3.  Expecting patients to have the answers you want just because you want them.
4.  Assuming you understand the reason for my visit.
5.  Not stating up front what your expectations are with respect to our relationship.
6.  You don't know what medications I'm taking.
7.  You don't answer my questions or concerns in a meaningful and understandable way.
8.  You don't have my medical records or images.
9.  You are too scared to have me disagree with you.
10. You rely on polls to tell you what patients do wrong, instead of figuring out that it really is about working together.

Let's try this one again, shall we.  As patients and healthcare providers, here are my top 5 ways we can work together as a team:

1.  We will work together and trust each other.
2.  We will communicate our expectations to each other.
3.  We will pay attention to each other.
4.  We will provide each other with the necessary information to support optimum care.  That includes keeping each other up to date on any changes in care, and making sure that information needed makes it to where it is needed in as easy a way as possible.
5.  We will realize that sometimes another viewpoint is necessary.

1 comment:

  1. My PCP is great at all but 6 and 8 thanks to a chaotic transition from a homebuilt system and paper charts to Epic. We were both frustrated because he wanted to look at last year's letter from a specialist saying why he did not want me to take a medication, and despite him reading the letter at the last visit and his staff photocopying it multiple times, it was missing from the paper chart. The homegrown system managed to lose one of my meds - probably scrubbed accidentally during the transition as it's an experimental med and is missing from the drug databases.

    But thanks to both of us following 1 through 5 in hindsight, I think we ended up having a very useful yearly physical.