Being a patient means having to yield to the whims of a medical condition and to bend to the regulations and rigidities of the health care system. The word “patient” comes from the same Latin derivative as “patience.” Clearly, it takes great patience to be a patient, and the sicker a person is, the more that patience is put to the test.
Medicine has grown significantly in its ability to diagnose and treat biological disease. Doctors can be proud of their ability to eradicate once fatal infections, prevent heart attacks and transplant failing organs.
Three innovations based on information technology—clinical practice guidelines, electronic medical records, and large-scale population science—will bring medicine into a new biological revolution.
But modern medicine is in danger of losing a powerful, old-fashioned tool: human touch. Physician and writer Abraham Verghese describes our strange new world where patients are merely data points, and calls for a return to the traditional one-on-one physical exam.
There are amazing, caring clinicians throughout the healthcare system, i.e., physicians, nurses, therapists and so many others. And yet as healthcare leaders we do not position them or their patients for optimal healing.
This morning I read ‘Health care, health caring and the culture of medicine.’
If health care is designed to address the needs of patients, health caring is ever mindful that patients are people with feelings that matter. Those feelings almost always include a heightened sense of vulnerability, dependency, and loss of control, which can be internally driven by the underlying condition, but also externally imposed (depending on the quality and tone of the health care encounter), resulting in threatened self-efficacy and personhood.
And also an article from Thomas Dahlborg.
Healthcare leaders must do better. They must create and improve systems to position these amazing clinicians to re-engage with the reasons they became healers in the first place. They need to create healthCaring models that allow for ample time and continuity for clinicians and their patients to develop relationships, for authentic human connection to be achieved, for trust to grow, for whole stories to be told and truly heard, and for co-created individualized care pathways to be made.
Let’s create healthCARING. Let’s go back to the Hippocratic Oath …
“I will remember that there is art to medicine as well as science, and that warmth, sympathy and understanding may outweigh the surgeon’s knife or the chemist’s drug.”
Let’s stop talking about it and let’s just do it!!