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Take 'Healthcare 101' and See the Doctor

Cheryl Clark, for HealthLeaders Media, September 27, 2012

Que sera, sera?

For example, the report says four in five consumers surveyed want their doctors to listen to them, but only three in five say that the providers do. Four in five patients also want to be told "the full truth about my diagnosis, even though it may be uncomfortable or unpleasant."

But here's what amazed me from this survey: one in five people don't seem to care.

There's more. For one in four people, it isn't essential that their doctors tell them about risks associated with each healthcare option.

One in three don't need to know how various options would impact their quality of life. Half of the respondents don't even want their doctors to offer them choices, or to discuss the option of forgoing tests and treatment altogether. More than four in five say their providers should only offer options that their providers think were right.

It’s a "Que sera, sera" approach to diagnoses.

But there's a big disconnect with how healthcare really happens.

Doctors and hospital providers complain all the time that they shouldn't receive reimbursement penalties if their patients don't do what they're advised. They say if patients would just get off their duffs and become active directors of their healthcare rather than passive recipients—or victims—then much of the need for their services might disappear.

Think about it: Making consumers share responsibility by learning how to manage their choices might just get this process going.

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4 comments on "Take 'Healthcare 101' and See the Doctor"


Eve Harris (10/1/2012 at 8:28 PM)
This strange (facetious?) suggestion is NOT patient-centered and does not actually empower patients or do much of anything to fix the broken healthcare delivery system.

Bart Windrum (9/28/2012 at 8:41 AM)
I have long suggested a similar thing around end of life, since 90% say they want to 'die in peace' yet roughly 15% do, according to the commonly held definition. What the nascent 'conversation' around end of life really addresses is dying AT peace; dying IN peace is an obstacle course littered with impediments to dying both in and at peace. A 3-hour day would position people to add a range of things to "the talk". A 6-hour day would give them a depth of understanding that might truly empower them and change the future course of their, and their loved ones', demises. Since end of life is the caboose on life's train, I think Cheryl's car will get going first. Just be sure that the training (hey, that's a pun) includes more than describing what is; it must provide empowering guidance for how to manage.

deb (9/27/2012 at 5:59 PM)
This looks like yet another way the current system is going to exert control over what people do and who is allowed to provide "services." The insurance industry exerts control by their contracts - what they pay for and how much they pay for - is a means of controlling actions. "Responsibility" as it is currently used really means did a patient do what they were told to do - with little regard for whether those directions achieve what the patient may want to achieve. How about instead the control is actually shifted to the people seeking support for their well-being? (and yes, some people won't care, and for some that may be a viable choice) The concept of stewardship would go a long way here. Stewardship shifts control. Equip and empower people to be stewards, to make effective decisions for themselves for the sustainability of well-being - from a range of decisions available, not just a small list from the allopathic world. That's like teaching someone to fish . . . and offering the world of lakes and rivers.