Think about your perfect doctor…what aspect of your care is most important to you when considering your healthcare provider options?
This was the question I posed to my patients and Facebook fans. The responses were both enlightening and validating.
People overwhelmingly said that being given attention and consideration was the most important thing to them. Over 80% of all responses indicated that the thoughtfulness, politeness and courteousness of the doctor and staff is of the utmost importance when choosing a provider. I think another way of saying this is communication. The strength of relationships, be them personal or professional, hinge on how well the people in those relationship can communicate with one another. It is important as a patient that you can express your concerns, your fears, and your doubts and feel confident that they will be taken seriously and addressed.
This is one of the reasons that I make it a point to set aside a separate appointment to review and explain the results of the exam. Often as I discuss a patients care with them questions that did not even realize they have come up. Taking the extra time allows me to answer those questions and explain concepts until I and the patient are sure she understands them.
Nearly 60% of the participants indicated that the next most important thing was that there were care options available beyond pain and/or symptom management. This supports a growing trend that I have been observing among my patients who want to take a more proactive and involved approach in their own health.
Nearly two years ago I started to incorporate “Prehab” into my practice. In contrast to the more commonly known term “rehab” which is done to restore someone back to previous state of function, Prehab exercises are simple daily practices that will continually stimulate us to improve our level of function and resiliency.
The third most important factor was education. People want to understand what is wrong with them and how they can improve and recover. This dovetails with the previous point about having care options beyond acute care. Having a clear understanding about your own health allows you to make better decisions and lifestyle choices. Most people find it surprisingly simple to make massive improvements in their health with a few strategic changes to their lifestyle.
Over the next few months I am going to be rolling out new innovative strategies and material designed to improve your office experience as well the health of you and your family.
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Yours in health,