There is no question that healthcare is changing. For better or worse, the way in which your medical treatment is overseen and delivered is getting an overhaul. One of the concepts that is being used as a guide throughout this process is called “patient-centered care.” One definition of this type of care is given by the Institute of Medicine: “Providing care that is respectful of and responsive to individual patient preferences, needs, and values, and ensuring that patient values guide all clinical decisions (Institute of Medicine. “Crossing the Quality Chasm: A New Health System for the 21st Century.“)
I’ve been pondering this concept of patient-centered healthcare lately and reflecting on how we treat our patients at Catalyst. What I have found helpful to gain insight into how my clinic can be more patient-centered is to listen to what my patients have told me about their past experiences with chiropractors. In my time as a chiropractic physician I have heard things from my patients that concern me. From what I have gathered from their experiences, here is a list of questions to ask yourself about whether you are getting patient-centered chiropractic care or not:
- Does your doctor spend more time listening or talking?
- Does your doctor consider your “preferences, needs, and values” in decisions about your care?
- Does your doctor spend enough time with you?
- Are you given different options for your treatment?
- Do you ever feel like you’re in more of a sales presentation than a health consultation?
- Are you asked to pay a large sum of money up front for multiple treatments, like you’re purchasing a tanning package?Does the phrase “easy financing options” come up during your consultation?
By no means is this list all-inclusive, nor do I claim that our clinic is perfectly patient-centered (we do close early on Fridays, afterall), but consumers these days need to be smart and know that they have rights. If you don’t feel right about your care, ask yourself if you feel that your doctor is considering your “preferences, needs, and values.” If not, it’s time to have a frank conversation with them to hold them accountable for honoring your needs.
Like I said above, I don’t claim to run a perfectly altruistic, patient-centered practice, but there are some things I can promise you should you choose to become a patient at Catalyst Chiropractic and Rehabilitation:
- You will receive ample one on one time with Dr. Thompson
- You will not receive any high pressure sales pitches
- You will not be asked to pay large sums of money up front
- Your needs and values WILL be considered in your care!
Yours in health,
Photo credit: Photographer – Zsolt Nyulaszi. Copyright © Zsolt Nyulaszi. All rights reserved.