Thursday, February 12, 2015

How you and your doctor can reach a decision

I honestly think--or make that, honestly hope--people are not just doing anything a doctor says, as so often happened in the past.

We are told to have some control over our care--so let's have it.

McMaster University has developed a program for an electronic tablet that helps with this shared decision-making. (British Medical Journal.)

It's called SHARE-IT and it presents medical info and evidence summaries in simple formats.

It's designed to invite discussion with the patient. Unlike earlier long, clunky expositions, these are quick and zippy.

Patients are not overwhelmed with info.

This particular system is expected to be found in offices in two years. The docs all peck away at computers now--what are they looking for?

I remember when my right eye filled with blood (caused by a blood thinner some other doc prescribed). I put off surgery--the doc let me.. I said I did not want to be worse...I was scared to death. He said offhandedly "How could it get any worse?"

Well--it could! After four surgeries, I lost sight in that eye--so it was worse--hope was gone, too. A little discussion would have been good. I probably would not have changed things--but certainly his blithe assurance that "you have a 90% chance of seeing with that eye again" would have been examined more closely.

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