The article called Could involving patients decrease antibiotic prescriptions? made me smile recently. I mean, isn’t the title itself ridiculous? As if there is a choice to NOT involve patients in giving them medication? Well, it seems that our present industrialized model of healthcare makes that commonplace. From the article:
- According to her team’s new review of past research, when patients and doctors discuss antibiotic prescribing together, fewer drugs are given out.
- “Shared decision-making means that the options are discussed; the natural course of the illness is discussed (i.e., these infections usually get better by themselves, so the option of not taking antibiotics is certainly one option that is reasonable to consider and discuss),” Hoffman said.
I worked in the urgent care where I didn’t know the patients. No matter what I said, if they wanted their antibiotics then they would yell, curse and scream to get it. One even sent a complaint in to the State Board about me for not getting her virus fixed with a Z-pak. I have also worked family medicine for 20 years and the more I know my patients and the more I have TIME with patients the easier it is to have a proper discussion and give out less unneeded meds.
In summary, the fragmented and rushed medical system leads to this problem and all the studies in the world won’t change it especially when TIME WITH PATIENTS is not a quality metric but patient satisfaction is.