We came across an article from The Wall street Journal addressing patient communication. It’s worth reminding our doctors: evidence has mounted that good communication helps patients stick to recommended treatments and manage chronic diseases. It also improves outcomes in the management of diabetes, hypertension and cancer. As primary care physicians in DPC, we’re not always dealing with conditions this serious. However, we’re still prescribing medications. Our ability to be clearly dictate when to take them, and why we’re recommending our patient take them MATTERS.
In a separate but related issue, we mentioned last week that poor communication is more likely to get you sued than making mistakes. Evidently patients don’t want to sue a doctor they like. Although they are willing to file lawsuits against the unfriendly, un-empathetic doctor who harried them through their visit. The WSJ points this out as well, saying “lack of communication, after all, isn’t just frustrating for patients. It can hurt the quality of care, drive up costs and increase the risk of lawsuits. And under new Medicare rules, providers won’t get as much money if they rack up poor patient-satisfaction scores or too many preventable readmissions.” Thankfully, in our line of work this last sentence need not apply. We can’t begin to express how glad we are to NOT have to fill out ICD-10 codes or have our patients pencil in score sheets regarding our service.