Wednesday, January 7, 2009

CLINICAL PEARLS-1 Dr.Communication

Clinical Pearls-1

Dr. Communication...

Picking up where my prior entry (In Doctors We Trust) left off...

a healthy doctor-patient relationship... requires that patients come to the relationship educated about their doctors, their illnesses and their treatment.”

Based on my experience and my readings, I have assembled a list of 'critical questions' that patients need to ask to become informed health care consumers and assure, as best possible, the best care possible.

Please note this list may not be complete, and I will add to it as I think of new and better questions. In addition, if you have any suggestions, please feel free to leave them as 'comments.'

List of Patient Questions Prior to Submitting to
any Surgery, Diagnostic Procedures,Treatment
or Drugs

1. Is this surgery-procedure-drug absolutely necessary, and what could happen to me if I choose to forego it?

2. What alternative treatment options are there?

3. What are the risks verses benefits of this surgery/procedure/drug?
a. What is the risk of infection from surgery or invasive procedures?
b. What are the potential complications I could face?
c. How will you handle this case if complications arise?
d. What are the chances of death from the procedure itself and from anesthesia?
e. Do I have any other health factors that increase my risks?

4. What outcome to you expect?
a. What is the immediate outcome anticipated
b. What is the 6 month/ 1year-3 year-5 year prognosis?
c. What are the likely long term effects of this procedure?

5. Are you board certified in this surgical/diagnostic procedure?
a. How many times have you performed this same procedure?
b. Do you perform this procedure on a regular basis?
c. Statistically, how many have had the best outcome that you anticipated?
d. Could you give me the name of a colleague as a personal and professional reference?

6. Will this surgery/procedure be performed in a hospital-OR, or in another setting?

7. What type of follow-up is there with you, personally?
a. What other type(s) of follow-up will there be, and with whom?
b. Is there any associated re-hab in another facility? Where? With whom?

8. How much will this procedure cost? What is included?
a. Will there be any surgical assistants? Are those costs included?
b. If complications arise, are the costs of follow-up care included?
c. Do you and everyone on your team accept my insurance?
d. Are there any other fees or, are there fees not covered by my insurance?

9. What are my pre-surgical and post-surgical responsibilities and roles as the patient?

10. And then, get a second opinion!

1 comment:

AndiL said...

Monday on Oprah, she revealed that
her team of Drs where treating symptoms she had, but not the problem, after advice from fans emailing her to have her thyroid checked , after doing so found out she had a thyroid condition. not saying you should be diagnosed by friends and family, but they do notice subtle changes, that you or your dr might miss. thanks for the list