The Sound of Patient Silence

On the heels of our blog earlier this summer that patients are afraid to speak up at the doctor’s office, comes another piece of published research that shows patients avoid disagreeing with their physicians.

Rather than confront their doctor and disagree with their treatment plan, the patients are more likely to just ignore the instructions given.

To improve their shared-decision making skills, doctors need to be more forward in asking patients what their needs are, what is most important to them and what outcomes they would like to acheive. Only then can they ensure a tailored treatment plan that the patient will most likely follow — because they had a part in determining that plan.

Physician blogger Shabbir Hossain wrote on KevinMD: "Whether you are for or against shared decision making, it is here to stay. Patients want to have to more say in their care and that’s a wonderful thing. Involved patients will always do better than detached ones."

The Patient Guidance System (PGS) provides patients involvement and shared decision making in their treatment. PGS helps patients make more informed choices, and that goes further than just asking questions of a doctor. It includes decision support, education, evaluation, and analysis in addition to communication.

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