Through blogs and comments, patients and experts explore what it takes to find good health care and make the most of it.

The Clinician's Role in Patient Engagement

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Inside Health Care posts feature recent news and blog posts from the health care community and are part of the Center for Advancing Health's portfolio of free, evidence-based coverage of what it takes to find good care and make the most of it.'  By Monica Kriete, CFAH Communications Associate.




Patient engagement initiatives often focus on how patients can or should change their behavior. Certainly, more of the responsibility for finding good care and making the most of it falls on patients and their caregivers.'  But recently, several health care insiders noted the importance of providers' behavior in promoting and/or preventing patient engagement.

At Mind the Gap, Stephen Wilkins asks, "Patient engagement versus physician engagement ' which comes first?"'  He points out that 'Research shows that on average, physicians interrupt [patients'] opening statements within 18 seconds.' He adds, 'How do you feel when a friend, a colleague, or your spouse interrupts you when you are trying to make a point?' ' Stephen suggests that a clinician who is unwilling to consider the patient's values and desires, for example, about using medication as a first course of treatment, can effectively block patients' attempts to become engaged.

Patient safety expert Dr. Peter Pronovost also emphasizes the importance of listening to patients at The Doctor Weighs In. ' In What I learned from listening to a patient he writes, 'Health care needs to recognize that patients or their parents or spouses have the tacit wisdom, from years of experience, to understand the ins and outs of a particular scenario, and that this type of wisdom can complement the physician's wisdom. ' Sometimes it is even more important.' ' Listening to patients and their loved ones, as well as to less senior clinicians, is a key component of creating a culture that values patients' care and safety over individual doctors' authority, he explains.

Health Beat's Anne Polta echoes Peter's sentiments in her blog When the Patient Complains. ' 'When patients complain,' she writes, 'it's often a reliable sign that a health care organization is falling short in some area.' ' Changing attitudes about patient satisfaction now lead some care providers and administrators to view these complaints not as mere criticism, but as an opportunity to receive feedback and improve patients' care.





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Inside Health Care posts feature recent news and blog posts from the health care community and are part of the Center for Advancing Health’s portfolio of free, evidence-based coverage of what it takes to find good care and make the most of it.


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