Over the last several years, an increasing number of doctors are helping patients make informed decisions about their treatments to improve the quality of their care. Rather than telling patients and their families which treatment they should get for a disease, infection or health condition, doctors are working with patients and their families to choose the right treatment for them. Because the Affordable Care Act encourages shared decision-making about health care, it is getting greater attention.
Health-care decisions should be about people’s priorities and goals, given the risks and benefits of different treatments. What is most important to you? What are you most worried about? In the best cases, people or their health buddies ask questions of doctors about treatment options and take notes so that they can make an informed choice.
Shared decision-making can also lead to better health outcomes. In the case of acute respiratory infections, helping patients understand the risks of antibiotics, which offer few benefits, has led to fewer antibiotic prescriptions, without an increase in repeat visits for the same condition or a decrease in patient satisfaction.
Read this complete article at JustCareUSA.og.
Diane has spent her entire career advocating for consumers. She began her career in health advocacy in 1989 as the founder and president of the Medicare Rights Center. Recently, Diane has been leading the effort to build Just Care to help ensure people’s health and economic security. Diane currently serves on the Board of Consumer Reports.