Tuesday, October 18, 2011

a patient care agenda: an organic solution

I have learned from holistic care gurus that organic foods and natural cures have no side effects.It sound like a cliche as nature has its own way of doing things, effects which we may not understand and probably not call as side effects as the effects may be rather not so dramatic or upfront.

Recently attending a primary care innovations conference from a leading medical school,it dawn upon me that as a physician group we are either too smart or no-so-smart. I wonder as we are being pushed to become administrators by using business models in our patient care.

Are we missing something really basic in our delivery of health care.This is the question, how to keep patient care simple?

The speakers with very effective power point presentations were conveying data.I saw spaghetti models,fish bone graphs and a slew of informative slides. The words of wisdom were focused on improving health care.It sounded like I can hear the foot steps of a reformed coordinated care model at our door steps.The idea of involvement of teams from office receptionists to physician assistants,nurse practitioners,social workers and physicians is simply wonderful.Another idea of patients being followed by phone calls,power of electronic medical records and creating a dialog among multidisciplinary teams is super wonderful.The one thing was beyond my understanding was that where were the patients as it was so focused on them with savings cost.

As patients focused care models being developed I think physicians are more and more pushed into a management model rather than a workable, passionate and compassionate model.I did go to medical school to serve humanity,I love this profession and the responsibility with privilege comes with being called a doctor.I just love it.I remember going to doctors office with my parents in a different part of world without any manged care.I know my parents loved and respected their doctors,I certainly did. I wonder what is so new when we talk about patient focused models, communications, coordinated care and home visits by a physician caring a bag and stethoscope.I have seen all that but what happened in last decade or so that we the physicians and our patients start speaking different languages,we now need to improve our communication.

I heard in the conference,one speaker saying that "patients get confused that why doctors ask so many questions while patient expectation is to get answers".The real challenge is to incorporate patients in their own care.This is going to be challenging as we know patients come from different back grounds,cultures,regions with different myths,expectations and realities.Each individual patient is a story in its own way,which we call as their history; present,past,social,family.

I think engaging patients in their care with developmental tools to enhance broad based partnership between health care and patient is one of the more rewarding and sustaining cost effective solution in our health care reform.One way of doing so lies in our education system by introducing a curriculum like being a patient what to do and what to expect with resources and simplified do's and don't.The value of preventive medicine in our school systems like drug addiction issues to safe sex education already exist.

Our future generation of texters and tweeters are certainly going to be more deprived of humanly face to face contact with a healing touch as our search for a coordinated electronic care is evolving.I certainly did not go to medical school to avoid an eye contact with a patient in my office to pay attention to properly clicking his symptoms on his electronic medical record.Something need to change but we need to keep humanity as our common destiny.

The concept of caring for a patient as a whole probably need to have a second look from a different eye to see and a different mind to vision.It may come from a patient or from a physician as middle man business concepts are taking away the real spirit of our practice of medicine.As we are stepping forward in our search for a patient driven agenda,an organic solution may be in spinning back to past.This may be a road to future success.


Tariq Mian said...

Dannish! it's a beautiful information you are sharing with us.
******Serving the medically ailing humanity involves minimizing the problems related to delivering “Medicare” due to time consuming, costly and complicated procedure.
Online availability of med records and timely ‘patient follow up’ based on improved communication between all involved including doctor, patient, lab, radiology etc., is of utmost importance for improving deliverance system of the sacred professional service.
Sad part is future generation seems to be greatly deprived of the “one-on-one basis” contact between patient and health provider.
There are those who are deprived of healing due to negligence on the part of professionals.
Yet, no matter what, medical profession is expected of providing the needed help to treat the needy.

Good work

Daanish said...

Thank you Tariq for your thoughtful comment.

Health care reform is a hot topic here and every where,and better to speak up now then latter as history is in making !

Sadaf Hafeez said...

I'm a medical student too. We had a little seminar to aware us about the health care system in Pakistan.The speaker , a professor from K.E.M.U lahore told us we're lucky to have a Universal Health System in Pakistan where best med care is available to rich n poor alike 24/7. In foreign countries the standard of med care ( experience of doctor, standard of room provided etc) depend upon how expensive one's health insurance is. For once I was proud of what we have in our country ! =D