Health Care Trends With a Social Media Twist
I ask a ton of questions. I always have. Partly it’s because I crave new facts and I love to learn. Mostly I think it’s important to speak up and seek clarification so nothing goes unsaid and the truth is known. This is especially important when it comes to healthcare, particularly in light of a study making headlines this week about doctors not telling their patients the whole truth. What?!
The Huffington Post reports that according to a new study, published Wednesday in the journal Health Affairs, some physicians are not always forthright when it comes to patient communication, withholding information about medical errors, relationships with drug companies and severity of a person's prognosis.
According to the study, the most substantial lapses in transparency seem to occur around patients' futures, with 55 percent of physicians saying they had described an individual's prognosis more positively than was warranted within the last year.
These doctors may have just been trying to protect their patients or encourage positive thinking but false hope can be dangerous too. That’s why patients and doctors should always have a frank dialogue about their expectations when it comes to honesty, at least in my view.
We live in an age of patient empowerment. If something doesn’t sound or feel right to you, ask more questions. Probe and press your doctor for clarification or a better explanation. You only have one life – it’s up to you to take care of it.