“When faced with someone in a white coat, don’t go mute. Assert yourself, particularly if you’re confused. Try repeating what you’re hearing”
“People recalled less than half of what their doctors told them a week earlier”
”In practice, though, patients bring up as many as 15 different issues during a visit. Show up with a list of the three main things you want to talk about, and go over all three before your doctor starts talking.”
“Communication onus should be on medical providers. Still, as a patient, you have agency. ‘When people participate, they remember better'”
My take: This article makes some good points. I think in this era, more written information (after visit instructions) are being provided which helps as well.
Doctors sued most often were complained about by patients twice as much as those who were not, and poor communication was the most common complaint…
At the University of Michigan about 15 years ago, a program was begun to improve communication around medical errors. When errors occurred, the program encouraged physicians to tell patients about them, how they happened, and what would be done to make them less likely to occur in the future. Doctors were also encouraged to apologize, and offer compensation for harm if it occurred.
A study of the program published in 2010 found that in the years after it began claims dropped 36 percent, and lawsuits dropped 65 percent. The monthly cost of total liability and patient compensation dropped 59 percent, and legal costs dropped by 61 percent.
A later study, published last year, looked at how the program affected gastroenterology claims and costs. It found that despite a 72 percent increase in clinical activity, the rate of claims per patient encounters dropped 58 percent…The total cost to the health care system of malpractice in gastroenterology decreased by 64 percent.