Health Promotion: 4 Reasons Good Doctors Help Patients Help Themselves
In spite of new technologies that help doctors and other medical personnel deal with patients in a more smooth and orderly fashion, some of those same technologies have also served to increase their patient load. While the internet can provide answers to some of the more common and routine problems people might face—thus saving a visit to the doctor—it can also send them rushing to the doctor in a panic over some very minor problems and issues. One of the best things that doctors can do, both for themselves and their patients, is to help their patients help themselves. Here are 4 reasons good doctors help patients help themselves.
Decreases Unnecessary Visits
When patients are proactive about their own self-care, it decreases the number of times a patient may actually need to see a doctor. When patients understand how to best manage their own health issues, they stand a better chance of experiencing fewer incidents that might lead them to need a doctor visit. While doctors of course never want a patient to not schedule an appointment for a legitimate concern, doctors who help patients understand in advance what is and is not a legitimate concern can cut down significantly on wasted trips. Patients that schedule numerous appointments for small issues that turn out to not be in any way serious also take time away from those with legitimate concerns.
Puts the Responsibility for Good Health Squarely on the Shoulders of the Patient
Too often, patients expect doctors to “create” good health for them, rather than taking responsibility for creating it themselves. Good doctors know how to keep the responsibility for good health where it belongs—with the patient. As the old saying goes “the squeaky wheel gets the grease” and too many doctors end up giving too much grease to their squeakiest wheels, which takes precious time and attention away from their more responsible patients. While compassion and empathy are crucial characteristics for those in the healing profession, they sometimes also need to practice a form of tough love with some of their more irresponsible patients.
Good doctors realize that many of their patients need much of the same information. Instead of taking the time to individually explain the same information again and again with a number of different patients, today’s doctors are taking advantage of modern technology to help educate their patients. Patient education videos and automated e-mails are just a few of the ways in which doctors can help their patients be more informed in order to manage their own health.
Cuts down on Misinformation Making Serious Problems Even Worse
The internet is full of misinformation and disinformation about a number of different medical and health conditions. This can often make patients feel (generally erroneously) they can both diagnose and treat themselves. Doctors know the significant consequences that can result from a patient misdiagnosing themselves and attempting to treat a condition they don’t have, while completely ignoring a condition they genuinely do. Doctors can significantly help their patients care more responsibly for their own health by providing a legitimate source for sound medical information when they need it most.
Good doctors do more than just care for their patients during a visit. Good doctors also help their patients manage their more routine health care on a daily basis. Taking just a small amount of time to help educate and inform patients in advance can help save significantly on wasted visits and also keep serious issues from becoming life-threatening as a result of not being managed or diagnosed properly.