Why Don’t Physicians Use More Information Therapy

My PCP is very good about giving me information to read every time I visit him.  (Never mind that it sits in a pile on my desk.)  But, I believe this is under-utilized in today’s information rich society.

I was reading an article this morning from PharmaVOICE about physicians not using certain medications or treatments because they didn’t have the time to spend with patients explaining them.  Therefore, they default to the “easier” solution which requires less explaining.  Is this prevalent?  I don’t know.

The article talked about a survey from Sermo and Aetna Health which revealed that almost 2/3rds of the 1,000 MDs surveyed felt that “the current health care environment is detrimental to the delivery of care”.  And, less than 1/5th felt that “they could make clinical decisions based on the what was best for the patient, rather than on what the payers are willing to cover”.  Pretty scary and sad.

Imagine if the physician was using an electronic interface during the encounter.  They could pre-create several information packets around certain diseases, drugs, and/or treatments.  When the patient was diagnosed and a treatment plan agreed to, they could e-mail the package to the patient.  It might include written information, links to websites, YouTube videos, or other assets.  I would imagine this could be very powerful and address the common gaps that exist between what the physician says and the patient hears.

[The article was “Is the Business of Health Care Getting in the Way of Providing Good Health Care? by Ken Ribotsky in PharmaVOICE from October 2011.]

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