Let’s Get Engaged

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If you read this blog you know I hate new words that are created by administrators.  It seems that “engage” is the hottest one being used for EVERYTHING now.  See here and here. Did you know that there is a career called “patient engagement advisors”? Kill me.  Anyway, here is a new article stating how we health care professionals must engage patients.

Here are Gallup’s six strategies to improve patient engagement.

  1. Engage patients at admission. Include them in discussions regarding procedures and discharge.
  2. Make sure patients understand test results. Asking patients to explain back results to clinicians can ensure they understand the results.
  3. Proactively meet patients’ needs. Respond quickly to patient requests and, when possible, anticipate any needs a patient may have.
  4. Demonstrate empathy. Show patients you empathize with them and their families by addressing their needs every day.
  5. Coordinate proper communication. Ensure providers across the continuum of care are communicating with each other.
  6. Coordinate discharge processes. Coordinating the process with physicians and nurses helps expedite the discharge and prevents the patient from having to wait around.

Can you see a medical student working through this in her mind.  “Hello, sir, how are you?  I am engaging you.  I want you to understand every lab test you have.  What is an RDW?  Hmmmm.  Not sure.  Anyway, I am proactively trying to meet your needs so here is a bottle of scotch and a porn magazine.  It must be hard being admitted for pancreatitis so many times, huh.  Anyway,  I will tell the nurses to give you all the pain meds you need and we’ll get you out of here and back to the bar as soon as we can.”

Okay, that was cynical but I really hate made up words and idiots, who are not doctors, telling us how to be a doctor.  If they would just engage me on that I would tell them that “I hear you” but I just want to give some “push back” on this issue.  Or are those terms out of fashion now?

 

Douglas Farrago MD

Douglas Farrago MD is a full-time practicing family doc in Forest, Va. He started Forest Direct Primary Care where he takes no insurance and bills patients a monthly fee. He is board certified in the specialty of Family Practice. He is the inventor of a product called the Knee Saver which is currently in the Baseball Hall of Fame. The Knee Saver and its knock-offs are worn by many major league baseball catchers. He is also the inventor of the CryoHelmet used by athletes for head injuries as well as migraine sufferers. Dr. Farrago is the author of four books, two of which are the top two most popular DPC books. From 2001 – 2011, Dr. Farrago was the editor and creator of the Placebo Journal which ran for 10 full years. Described as the Mad Magazine for doctors, he and the Placebo Journal were featured in the Washington Post, US News and World Report, the AP, and the NY Times. Dr. Farrago is also the editor of the blog Authentic Medicine which was born out of concern about where the direction of healthcare is heading and the belief that the wrong people are in charge. This blog has been going daily for more than 15 years Article about Dr. Farrago in Doximity Email Dr. Farrago – [email protected] 

  8 comments for “Let’s Get Engaged

  1. Mamadoc
    May 7, 2014 at 10:06 pm

    Yet another crock of you know what foisted on us by people who have NO idea what it is we do.

  2. David Grant, MD
    May 7, 2014 at 4:44 pm

    I think it’s usually people who aren’t doing any significant work who concoct these new terms and new meanings for old words. They can act as if they know something we don’t.

  3. Cynthia Freel, MD
    May 7, 2014 at 11:59 am

    Doug – Amen brother!!!
    Oh who is VN, seems like he is more foe than friend.
    Cheers.

    • V N
      May 7, 2014 at 1:00 pm

      I’m one of those people who will lose their life because of several mistakes made by one doctor, where everyone else closed ranks on and have no care. You see, while I actually stepped up to the plate for the doctor (yes, one of the patients who did that) regarding the mistakes (no, I have never ever sent a lawyer after them, although they’ve called the cops on me on public areas & a lawyer who has found out his clients lied to him) and why he made them (mostly overwork, etc.), the doctor dropped my care. I have proof of what I’m talking about.

      So yes, I’ve already had a warning because I’m against you all, but frankly, I was one of the patients who got dumped on when I stepped up for doctors. I’m one of the ones who said you all should get paid for phone calls, emails, EHR time, and those peer to peers with the insurance. I’m one of those that said so what to the Medicare payments and said show me hospital admin & insurance admin salaries. I’m one of those that said certain on call should get paid. That doctors should get helping hands, and so should nurses.

      I’ll lose my life because I stood up for that to one group and the doctors didn’t like it. I’m also for doctors taking responsibility for their mistakes and working with educated patients and the like.

      That’s who I am.

      Since you all have such a problem with it, I’ll just let the other boards and groups know that people who have taken up a number of doctor proposals, this is how they’ll get treated. Good luck in getting the patients behind you, when you treat those of us who do agree with a number of your items and are willing to stick up for them.

  4. Mary K
    May 7, 2014 at 10:39 am

    When I was working as a hospital RN we had scripts. They were actual lines that we were all supposed to use. Imagine being a patient and having all your caregivers use exactly the same lines when talking to you–I don’t think the caregivers on my floor ever really embraced the idea–we went around calling ourselves “Stepford nurses” while management earnestly had meetings and put out recommended scripts. Like we had no brains to talk to patients!!

  5. V N
    May 6, 2014 at 7:29 pm

    1.Engage patients at admission. Include them in discussions regarding procedures and discharge.
    >> This is pretty general, not sure where this is a problem. I would expect informed consent and giving me material to read.
    2.Make sure patients understand test results. Asking patients to explain back results to clinicians can ensure they understand the results.
    >> Ask if the patient wants to or needs to understand. I have access to UpToDate and the like. I never ask my physicians to explain it. I end up explaining it to them because of the medical research.
    3.Proactively meet patients’ needs. Respond quickly to patient requests and, when possible, anticipate any needs a patient may have.
    >> Hmmm I come because I have a physical problem needing fixing. That’s my need. Fixing it is what they need to anticipate. 🙂 I would add into this that doctors do need to ask about 1) work issues, 2) financial issues, and 3) home issues that might get in the way of compliance. If you give a patient a treatment they can’t afford, or only have office hours when they’re at work and can’t get off, well that’s not a solution.
    4.Demonstrate empathy. Show patients you empathize with them and their families by addressing their needs every day.
    >> I had a surgeon who told me he treated me like he would his family. When we found out he missed some things, I had a friend say ‘I’d hate to be in his family’. Maybe it would be better if you treated me as a professional should, a handshake, or a couple words are fine, but I don’t want or need an overinvolved doctor. I have a support system for that.
    5.Coordinate proper communication. Ensure providers across the continuum of care are communicating with each other.
    >> Ok this is dead on. I had PCP tell me go to specialist. Specialist ignored everything from the PCP. I went to a different specialist who said you need to go back to the first specialist. First specialist sort of blew it off and I didn’t get done what the second specialist wanted. He fired me for being noncompliant, first specialist didn’t do anything. (So its my fault for being noncompliant?) So I went back to the first specialist and said how could you do this, I lost $$$ out of pocket over it, and complained. Then he fired me for being non compliant, when in over 6 months, they couldn’t give an example of non compliance and in the records it blatantly says, “she is doing X and Y” as recommended. Of course, now I have a reputation.
    6.Coordinate discharge processes. Coordinating the process with physicians and nurses helps expedite the discharge and prevents the patient from having to wait around.
    >> Or you can do what I did: I went to my car with an IV & TPN attached, put my stuff in the car. Wheeling back to the room, my physician sees me and gets hot with me. I said well every other time, you were here at 7 something. Its now almost 9:15 and I have an online class that my work paid $3500 for me to go to, and you told me I was getting out today.

    Some of this stuff, lets go common sense, does have some merit. Notice I said some. Then again, I believe patients should do some medical research and I don’t mean Oprah or that Dr. House my sister told me about. Some of us don’t watch TV, we read medical information.

  6. May 6, 2014 at 7:26 am

    How about “vet” or “at the end of the day”? What’ the new lingo popular today?

  7. Pat
    May 6, 2014 at 7:16 am

    That’s right up there with “advocate.” I recently spent a whole day dealing with a bat-sh*t crazy adult patient, and her equally guano-brain mother, who kept assuring me that she had gotten really good over the years at being her child’s “advocate”. That dovetails nicely with how the entire nursing industry glommed onto being “patient advocates” twenty years ago…all of which left me as, I dunno, the “patient adversary”?

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