Albert Francis E. Domingo, MD

my flight of ideas

To Choose, not just to Consent

Posted on | June 3, 2006 | No Comments

(Part 4 of Stateside Healthcare: Art, Science, or Commerce?)

Patient awareness of diseases is high in the US. The typical source of information is the internet. This poses an interesting scenario to the physician: on one hand, his/her patient is highly aware of what to report and may later on have a higher compliance rate; at the same time however, the physician must keep abreast of the latest information in medicine. The physician’s role however cannot be replaced by the amateur research performed by the patient because it is usually the case that the patient becomes biased towards reporting symptoms found in a disease’s information sheet. Furthermore, diagnostics and therapeutics are still best interpreted and recommended, respectively, by the trained clinician.

In the event however that the patient has not accessed information on his/her symptoms before the encounter with the physician, the role of patient educator then becomes that of the physician him/herself with the aid of take-home instructional materials using lay language. There also again is the nurse who can further educate the patient immediately after the encounter with the physician or at a later date, as earlier mentioned via a centralized call center staffed by registered nurses.

Next: Medical Informatics: Streamlined Efficiency or Rigid Technology?

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