The words “First, do no harm” form the core of every doctor’s approach to medicine. The first step to doing no harm, though, is ensuring that both doctor and patient are on the same page regarding a patient’s health. Both must understand the nature of an illness, the treatment options, the goals of care and how they fit with both the doctor’s and the patient’s values and beliefs before care is provided.
Reaching that point requires a close relationship between doctor and patient. However, the communication on which such relationships are founded is all too often lacking, creating obstacles to effective care, increasing health care costs and even causing patients harm.
Notes sat down with Dennis Rosen, MD, a Boston Children’s Hospital pulmonologist and author of “Vital Communications,” a recent book about doctor-patient communications, to talk about how the doctor-patient relationship has changed and how to bring effective communication back as a priority. …Read More