Communicate with Your Healthcare Provider …
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As we look to 2018, and the emphasis of a “Happier, Healthier You in 2018” we turn our focus to our healthcare providers. Our healthcare providers are an integral link in our “Happier, Healthy You” journey. The National Institute of Aging declares, “A good patient-doctor relationship is a partnership built on communication.” One may assume with our hyper-connected world of consistent messages through countless means this would be an easy task.

 

Whereas, this hyper-connected with our smartphones, tablets, and other devices has instigated the exact opposite. Our attention spans have “shortened from 12 seconds to 8 seconds in the last decade”, according to a Microsoft study. We have become a people of listening to answer, not listening to understand.  Listening to understand requires comprehension. The unhappy reality is the bulk of people who just read those last few sentences didn’t grasp the meaning. Go back and read them again…. slowly. Take time to comprehend. Comprehension is a vital and essential key to communicating with our healthcare providers.

 

Not only have our attention spans shortened, our medical providers are dealing with restraints on their time. A couple of recent studies consistently reveal a majority of physician spend 13-16 minutes with their patient. One other study revealed a startling statistic of 6% of physicians stated they spend a mere 9 minutes with each patient. What does all this mean for you, the patient?

 

It means we need to be prepared. We need our partnership with our health care providers to thrive. The result…we will flourish into a ‘healthier, happier you.’  Here are a few suggestions on how to communicate with your healthcare professional:

 

  1. Prepare by writing down questions you have for your physician
  2. Speak up if the instructions are unclear. One statistic states you have about 8 seconds before the physician will move on
  3. Bring a notepad and take notes. Show physician notes, give them a chance to correct if notes are incorrect.
  4. It is critical to be honest with your physician. A good partnership is based on honesty.

 

The point is with a little groundwork, we can have a symbiotic partnership with our doctor and be on schedule for a “Healthier, Happier You in 2018.”

 

Reference:  Why being able to talk to your doctor matters. Accessed at:

https://www.nia.nih.gov/health/why-being-able-talk-your-doctor-matters.    

Accessed on: December 26, 2017.

Reference:  Human attention span shortens to 8 seconds due to digital technology: 3 Ways to stay focused.

Accessed at http://www.medicaldaily.com/human-attention-span-shortens-8-seconds-due-digital-technology-3-ways-stay-focused-333474

Accessed on December 26, 2017.

Reference: Here’s how many minutes the average doctor actually spends with each patient.

Accessed at http://www.businessinsider.com/how-long-is-average-doctors-visit-2016-4.

Accessed on December 26, 2017.