5 Comments

  1. I need to write something about the dimensions of patient engagement.

    To a lot of people it’s a synonym for compliance – obedience. In my experience many observers of healthcare see *many* patients not following instructions and conclude “[all] patients are not engaged.” In the observed cases that may be accurate but in my experience too often this blinds the observer to a useful question: what can be done to *interest* the patient in doing more good things?

    A common issue, again in my experience, is that in many cases the goals are imposed by the clinician. That makes no more sense than a financial advisor saying “You should be saving 20%. You’re non-compliant.” Note, I’m not disagreeing with the principle or the evidence here; I’m just saying, let’s do things that WORK, let’s FIND approaches that work.

    AND, as another layer, activated e-patients who want to redesign the care system feel that the system itself is pretty frickin’ non-responsive, I might add. :-) The huge difference is that we the patients are the BUYERS of services done to us (usually through our insurance), so it’s odd and perverse when some providers not to ask what WE want, individually and collectively.

    And that, I suspect, is a root issue in exploring what “patient centered care” is.

    So now I gotta email you about your pt engmt white paper to see whether you agree. :-)

  2. Jackie says:

    Doctors do NOT want “patient engagement.” They want us to follow orders. THEY will decide what’s “best” for us, regardless of our wishes or quality of life. As for the patients who have 3-4 things they are complaining about, I’m guilty. It’s so expensive and time consuming to go to the doctor, I generally wait until something is threatening me, and then I add in the exema or whatever. What’s wrong with that? It saves me and the doctor several unnecessary visits! Doctors don’t seem to have a concept that the patients time is as valuable as their own. I need every penny of my time at work to make ends meet. I get really REALLY upset when I wait for an hour or more to see the doctor for a minute, after having scheduled the time AND worked it out with my employer. There are lots of things to think about here in regards to the patient and not just the physician.

  3. Many patients walk away from provider visits satisfied with their care and the answers to their questions. How did they do that? Was it just luck that they got the “right” provider? Is there something a person can do to increase the chances of a favorable visit?

  4. susan says:

    Going to the doctor with as much information about your problem really helps. If you can be specific about symptoms, pain when, how and what is happening it helps the doctor with what to look for. A few years ago I had a lot of blood in my urine. I knew it was way more than just an infection. I brought a ugly sample in to show him and after a thorough physical and lots of questions he determined that it was most likely a bladder problem. He got me in for an ultrasound and xrays within 48 hours. Results were faxed back the same day. It turned out that I had malignant tumours in my bladder. My detailed explanations helped him realize from the get go that it was more serious than the average bladder infection.

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