Putting the “Care” Back in Healthcare
We live in a remarkable era of scientific and medical advancement.
The healthcare industry has developed a vast array of techniques and tools that can be used to treat patients. Surgery. Medications. High-tech things such as gene therapies.
There is so much more we can “do” to patients than ever before!
But is it always the right thing to do?
According to Dr. Timothy Ihrig, an internationally recognized authority on palliative care and Chief Medical Officer at Crossroads Hospice & Palliative Care (Full disclosure: A SPRYTE Communications client), the answer is a resounding “NO!”
The Tao of Palliative Care
In his blog, What’s Wrong with Healthcare? It doesn’t Care (Part II), Dr. Ihrig suggests that as doctors have become more adept at fixing the physical ailments that patients suffer, they’ve grown less mindful of them as human beings, perhaps to the point of callousness in regard to how patients feel about the treatments being thrust on them. He believes the healthcare industry needs to do a much better job of educating patients about procedures, treatments, and the likely prognoses, so they can be part of the decision-making process.
“My experience is, the more we ‘do’ to patients, the more we risk negatively impacting the quality of their lives – and the more we risk actually decreasing how long they live, as well. In addition, too often – almost always – we are not giving the patient an opportunity to choose HOW they want to live.” Dr. Ihrig says.
He believes palliative care practitioners are well-positioned to show the healthcare industry how best to engage with patients so they can participate in treatment decisions and establish goals that allow them to enjoy a high quality of life for as long as possible. Read!