Patient care management is a system put in place by health organizations to improve patient care by helping both caregivers and patients manage health conditions. This helps reduce the need for medical services and cost for patients. Patient Care Management is especially important for patients with complex health care need as they account for a high percentage of annual medical expenditures and use of resources.
There are various ways that Patient care management can be made more efficient. These ways have been discussed countless times by health scholars and in health organizations. From improvement through Evidence-Based care and improvement through fostering Doctor-Patient relationships these methods all add to the wealth of knowledge health practitioners and clinicians can improve patient care management.
The Relationship with the Doctor
When talking about improving doctor-patient relationships, the first step is to foster this partnership by establishing a patient’s trust. Until this trust is established, other much-needed progress cannot be made in building the relationship.
A good working relationship and trust between doctor, nurse, caregiver, etc. and the patient will carve a path for improved patient involvement and the use of educational tools by patients for better understanding. When a patient becomes savvy about their care needs and also trust their caregiver, care management becomes efficient and uses fewer resources and time.
The value people assign to the state of their health to an extent, depends on their knowledge or experience of it. Without proper knowledge of their condition patients might take their health issues too seriously (like regarding every health scare as a life or death situation) which cause extra stress for clinicians and doctors and may lead to misallocation and waste of resources.
Alternatively, some patients might not take their health condition seriously enough leading to emergency situations or further deterioration. Situations like this can be avoided with proper patient education and proper patient education cannot be gotten if there’s no communication between doctor and patient.
Patients can be given information and educated in a number of ways. Through conversation with their doctors, patient-targeted lectures and seminars, pamphlets, books, and even videos. Now, advice and information will differ among different patients even ones with similar conditions.
The more patient advice and education need to be personalized, the more expensive this process becomes for the health organization or hospital.
Sharing is Caring But Challenging
The mode of sharing this information is also determined by other factors. Some of these factors are complexity of the case, time available, patient attitude and patient preference.
These factors are all intertwined with each other with one leading into the other and so on. More complex cases take more time to discuss fully and this will require a longer interaction between patient and caregiver. But in some cases, the caregivers might not have the time to interact so extensively with each and every patient.
Also, some patients might not want to “disturb” the doctor or caregiver thereby leaving important questions unasked. A lot depends on the attitude of the patient. Some patients might be embarrassed by their condition and prefer to get the information they need from and impersonal sources such as videos, pamphlets or articles.
This works a lot but sometimes personal communication is more efficient especially when the patient’s participation is very integral to the medical decisions take.
How to Impart Information
So these situations leave scholars and health practitioners alike with some questions. How much do patients wish to know about their health situation or diagnosis? What’s the best way to present this information to the patients? The answers to these questions are very important. Now human behavior varies and changes all the time.
So for example, if a patient chooses an impersonal mode of communication and the doctor has a delicate information about their condition (like you have 3 months to live or there’s a 90% chance of failure of an operation) do they respect patient wishes and communicate via email or communicate to the patient directly? The answer to this question is; it depends on the doctor and each individual case.
So, at the end of the day Doctor or clinician discretion and severity of the case will determine a mode of communication. This varies a lot from each case and patient are different. An overall understanding of a situation is important but doctors must use their discretion when handling patients.