March 18, 2013

Communication, Communication

Communication is the latest buzzword in medical circles today. Only they are calling it something else now. The medical professionals want us to think of it as “patient engagement.” How obtuse do they think we patients are? Communication by any other name is communication and I do not think they are doing us as patients any favors by trying to divert our attention away from this.

Dr. Rob Lamberts must be pointing this out to his colleagues in his blog of March 11, 2013 after attending the HIMSS conference. He admits he is snarky about this and from his blog you should have no doubts. I think a statement he makes needs repeating, “Communication isn’t important to health care, communication is health care.” Too many doctors forget this! That is why they have come up with the term “patient engagement” to muddy the waters.

We as patients need to have and use more communication with our doctors and not just when we are in the exam room. There, too many doctors talk at us and not with us, go on autopilot as if we aren't there, and too often come up with the incorrect cause of why we are there. I am upset because now doctors will use this term as a way to convince others that they have meaningful use of their medical health records (MHR) or electronic health records (EHR) when in reality, it is only the records they are interested in.

By using and adding data to your health record, they can become more efficient at billing us or our insurance carrier for more money. This in turn will garner them large sums of monies from the government for implementing the electronic health record system. Few patients currently have access to their complete medical records and this may become even more difficult in the future as more of our records are hidden from us behind a cloud of ambiguity and as programmers figure out how to make this more difficult with systems that are more proprietary not available to patients. Yet, every day we read that more of our electronic health records have been compromised and information stolen by electronic thieves.

I would like to quote Dr. Lamberts blog, but that would not accomplish anything. He says it much more eloquently than I can. I would rather you took the time to read his blog and hopefully arrive at the same conclusion. If you do not, then don't be afraid to tell me so.

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