Patients want better talks with doctors

Oct. 13, 2012 at 11:41 PM
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WASHINGTON, Oct. 13 (UPI) -- A U.S. survey indicates 8-in-10 people want their healthcare provider to listen to them, but 6-in-10 say that actually happens with their doctors.

George Halvorson, chairman and chief executive officer of Kaiser Permanente and co-chairman of the Institute of Medicine's collaborative, said less than half of people surveyed reported that their provider asks about their goals and concerns for their health and healthcare.

"The gap between what people want and what they are getting leads to poor medical decision-making, but it also represents an opportunity to do better," Halvorson said in a statement. "We know how to get it right; with shared decision-making between patients and clinicians that produces informed decisions."

The authors said there are three essential elements to an informed decision based on shared decision-making:

-- People must have timely access to the best available medical evidence.

-- Providers must provide sound, unbiased counsel based on their clinical expertise.

-- Patients' and families' goals and concerns must be actively elicited and fully honored.

The survey of 1,068 patients was conducted last spring by Consumer Reports National Research Center for the Institute of Medicine's collaborative.

"Doctors take note: People want -- and deserve -- meaningful engagement in conversations about their care, and they value it when rating their experience of care," Dr. John Santa, director of the Consumer Reports Health Ratings Center, said. "They do not want their practitioner to make decisions for them or offer only some of the options."

The findings were published in "Viewpoint" in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

No margin of error was provided.

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