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Is Your Physician Patient-Centered? Five Ways To Tell

Hint: Being Designated As A Patient-Centered Medical Home Is Not One

We hear a lot about patient-centered care these days. In particular, a growing number of physicians across the country are now referring to their practices as a “Patient-Centered Medical Home.”

But how can you tell if your physician’s practice really is patient-centered, no matter what he or she may call themself? More importantly, why should you care? What is patient-centered care, you ask?

It’s quality care delivered in a manner where you feel that your provider:

  • Knows who you are personally as well as clinically.
  • Understands, respects and honors (where practicable) your previous health experiences, beliefs and preferences.
  • Facilitates and supports your health choices and behavior barring a serious conflict of beliefs or principles.

Since each of us possess a different set of experiences, beliefs and preferences, patient -entered care by definition is tailored to individual patients. Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at Mind The Gap*

“E-Visits” With Patients: For Greedy Doctors Or Not?

Dr. Wes (a cardiology blogger whom all should read) wrote a very compelling post about technology and the bondage it can create for doctors:

The devaluation of doctors’ time continues unabated.

As we move into our new era of health care delivery with millions more needing physician time (and other health care provider’s time, for that matter) –- we’re seeing a powerful force emerge –- a subtle marketing of limitless physician availability facilitated by the advance of the electronic medical record, social media, and smartphones.

Doctors, you see, must be always present, always available, always giving.

These sound like dire words, but the degree to which it has resonated around the Web among doctors is telling. Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at Musings of a Distractible Mind*

What Do Doctors Know About Their Unemployed Patients?

Anyone who’s ever been downsized or otherwise lost a job knows the feelings: Personal loss (social, financial and routine), self doubt, and in some cases fear of what the future will bring. Unemployment and its cousin, underemployment, are not subjects that a lot of people are comfortable brining up in polite conversation — even with their doctor.

Given today’s tough economic environment, chances are that 15 to 20 percent of the people sitting in most doctors’ waiting rooms are out of work. Do you know who they are? You should. Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at Mind The Gap*

Transitioning Primary Care To “Patient-Centered” Team Care

While the “patient-centered medical home” may be a good idea, it needs a better name. It sounds like a hospice, reports surgeon and columnist Pauline Chen, M.D. She outlines the initial experiences of practices making the transition to the new practice model.

One problem uncovered by pilot projects is that doctors in transition to the practice model have to spend inordinate amounts of time of things other than patients. And while the patients want and welcome the changes, they face a learning curve too, as they move from seeing just the doctor to working with a team of providers for their care. 

Physicians suggested using resources from the Patient-Centered Primary Care Collaborative, a collaborative group set up to help offices make the transition. (New York Times)

*This blog post was originally published at ACP Internist*

Public Service: Does Having An Opinion Disqualify You?

Many conservatives are up-in-arms about President Obama’s decision to appoint Don Berwick, a pediatrician and renowned expert in quality improvement and patient safety, to lead the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). They object to Dr. Berwick’s views on a range of issues, and to Obama’s decision to use his office’s authority to appoint Dr. Berwick while the Senate was out on a short Independence Day holiday recess. As a “recess appointment,” Dr. Berwick was able to take office without Senate hearings and confirmation, but he can only serve through the end of the 111th Congress — that is, until the end of 2011 — unless ratified by the Senate.

Berwick, though, also has many supporters. Maggie Mahar articulates the “pro” viewpoint on Dr. Berwick’s appointment in a recent Health Beat post. She observes that two former CMS administrators who served in Republican administrations have commented positively about Dr. Berwick’s qualifications. Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at The ACP Advocate Blog by Bob Doherty*

Latest Interviews

IDEA Labs: Medical Students Take The Lead In Healthcare Innovation

It’s no secret that doctors are disappointed with the way that the U.S. healthcare system is evolving. Most feel helpless about improving their work conditions or solving technical problems in patient care. Fortunately one young medical student was undeterred by the mountain of disappointment carried by his senior clinician mentors…

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How To Be A Successful Patient: Young Doctors Offer Some Advice

I am proud to be a part of the American Resident Project an initiative that promotes the writing of medical students residents and new physicians as they explore ideas for transforming American health care delivery. I recently had the opportunity to interview three of the writing fellows about how to…

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Latest Book Reviews

Book Review: Is Empathy Learned By Faking It Till It’s Real?

I m often asked to do book reviews on my blog and I rarely agree to them. This is because it takes me a long time to read a book and then if I don t enjoy it I figure the author would rather me remain silent than publish my…

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The Spirit Of The Place: Samuel Shem’s New Book May Depress You

When I was in medical school I read Samuel Shem s House Of God as a right of passage. At the time I found it to be a cynical yet eerily accurate portrayal of the underbelly of academic medicine. I gained comfort from its gallows humor and it made me…

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Eat To Save Your Life: Another Half-True Diet Book

I am hesitant to review diet books because they are so often a tangled mess of fact and fiction. Teasing out their truth from falsehood is about as exhausting as delousing a long-haired elementary school student. However after being approached by the authors’ PR agency with the promise of a…

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