Patient spine education to reduce malpractice claims in clinical practice.

patient education and communication

Failure to communicate with patients is often the primary reason for malpractice claims. Physicians, surgeons, chiropractors, and other spine health care professionals are put into a position to establish a relationship with spine education at the roots quickly. According to Steven R. Eastaugh, Ph.D. in Physician Executive, it is essential to explore ways to communicate better and allow healthcare organizations to reduce litigation costs.

4 Strategies for Better Communication: Focus on the issues Educate the patient Enlist the patient Shared decisions and mutual trust

Focus on the Issues

A well-designed communications plan, based on the work of Erik Erikson at Harvard, should include the four E’s: empathy, engagement, education, and enlistment.
Before patients undress, doctors should show empathy by meeting them in the waiting room or exam room. In the exam room, listen to the patient, look them in the eyes, share the backstory, and then affirm them by summarising in the patient’s own words.
For the first minute, ask open-ended questions and never interrupt the patient. After only 18 seconds, the average clinician interrupts the patient.
Engagement lays the groundwork for a collaborative relationship between provider and patient. Inquire about the patient’s family and work, and restate major points in the patient’s language, avoiding technical jargon.

Educate the Patient

When we play back the videotapes, typical physicians who thought they provided six minutes of patient education only provided 40 seconds. Jargon dominates the first 40 seconds. The vast majority of patients have no comprehension of the message.

To truly educate, one must gently probe the patient’s concerns and fears. For example, the patient may be concerned about the prescription’s side effects or cost. For financial reasons, patients in some areas do not fill 30-40% of prescriptions.

Doctors must define or describe terms clearly, then ask if the patient understands. Be patient-centred, and think about what the patient is thinking: What happened to me? When will the results be available? What caused this to happen? What steps will be taken? Is it going to hurt? Why do they recommend this treatment option?

Enlist the Patient

In the decision-making process, the doctor should include the patient as a collaborative team member. Patient compliance improves when the patient is included in the design of the treatment plan. Technical facts are meaningless if the clinician is perceived as cold or distant, uninterested in the patient’s routines, habits, and lifestyle.

As part of the team approach, the clinician should propose a treatment plan and then inquire about how it corresponds with what the patient has been thinking. There has been no education or enlistment unless the patient has questioned prior assumptions and learned something useful for the future. Always end a patient visit by reviewing the treatment plan and scheduling future appointments. Improve follow-up questions via phone or email.

If patient satisfaction and compliance are improved and the length of the visit is only one or two minutes longer, improved patient communication can be cost-effective. The patient is also concerned about time management, which is why e-mail visits and health education chat rooms can boost both net revenue and patient satisfaction.

The cost savings from workplace redesign and staff training can allow clinicians to spend more quality time with patients. Always keep the four E’s in mind: Empathy (that must have been difficult), Engagement (what do you think is causing your problem? ), Education (do you understand what we need to do together to improve your health? ), and Enlistment (what support can the team provide you in implementing the treatment plan we designed?).

Shared decisions and mutual trust

Several federal studies indicate that the quality of the doctor-patient relationship has deteriorated, even among the doctor’s long-term patients. (4, 5) Ineffective communication lowers the accuracy of the diagnosis as well as the utility of the treatment plan.

We must break down cultural communication barriers. You don’t want your patients to say things like, “He shows no concern, warmth, would not answer questions, and couldn’t listen.” The traditional doctor collects facts, but the clinician must also learn about the patient’s perception of their health and lifestyle habits.

Patients weigh the benefits of the treatment plan against the costs of side effects and reduced pleasurable habits in their own internal calculus. Collaborative communication and involving the patient as a member of the care team can shift the patient’s calculus to see the costs, risks, and benefits of the treatment plan.

Training sessions for clinicians and staff on a regular basis will help to keep people’s skills sharp and patient-centered. The professional culture of medicine is changing; high touch is returning, and collaborative primary care values are ascending. Accept the change or risk being run over and losing your patients.

All the software and machines in the world will never be able to replace a good communicator. In the public’s minds, value creation is returning to continuity of care and primary care values.

Throughout my three decades with the Institute of Medicine, we have always advocated for a long-term partnership with patients based on mutual trust. Improved communication results in more effective screening, prevention, and health education. Better communication boosts both clinician and patient satisfaction. As a result, both economics and medicine benefit.

People in the industry know that malpractice claims are one of the business fears. To avoid being sued, effective patient education about spine pain generators is important to communicate in a clear and precise manner. Risk reduction strategies include effective patient education. Often patients want to know where are why it hurts and what the doctor is going to do to help with the problem. Dynamic Disc Designs models help the doctor, like an assistant, to show the spine problems dynamically. Whether the patient is experiencing stenosis, disc herniation, spondylolisthesis, hypermobility,cervical stenosis or pain due to interposed annular disruption, dynamic models are designed from real cadaveric specimens and mimic real tissue to aid the physician.

In a patient-centred driven healthcare system, doctors are forced to establish patient trust efficiently under time restraints.  That is the nature of the business. And if doctors cannot communicate what they need to, the patient is often left with unanswered questions. Using hands-on models that demonstrate the anatomy cleanly and dynamically saves doctors time. One of the most popular models by ddd allows the doctor to precisely point to the internal aspect of the annulus and show how a disc herniation progresses through a radial tear. This model also demonstrates the innervation of the outer third of the annulus as well as neo-innervation to inner radial tears.

Doctor Patient Engagement

Dynamic Disc Designs

Dynamic Disc Designs has developed effective spine models to improve the communication between doctors and patients in the time-pressed clinical setting. Explore.