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  • Waiting in the Doctor’s Office? Use That Time Wisely

    [caption id="attachment_3231" align="alignleft" width="237" caption="Ask More Questions To Your Doctor"]Patient[/caption]

    There have been many situations where I would be sick, drive to the doctor's office, wait in the waiting room for about 20 minutes, be called in and have to wait another 15 minutes. Finally the doctor would come in and only give me 5 minutes? That doesn't seem right. Does this happen to anyone else? Laura Landro of The Wall Street Journal discusses more about the doctor to patient relationship in her article Questions for Better Care.

    People often fail to ask their doctors questions that could lead to fewer medical errors and better outcomes—and doctors don't routinely encourage them to do so. That's despite years of efforts to improve doctor-patient communication.

    Part of the problem is the intimidation factor that comes with the doctor's white coat. Also to blame are mounting time pressures that mean less physician or nurse interaction with patients, according to the federal Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.

    On Tuesday, the agency is launching a new campaign to promote a solution that seems obvious but often doesn't happen: getting patients to ask questions. The aim is to get patients to prioritize their top concerns and questions before a medical encounter—and to get doctors to prompt patient questions in order to provide better care. "Americans want more time with their doctors, but what hasn't sunk in is the importance of using the time you have with your doctor wisely," says Carolyn Clancy, the agency's director.

    Even though he had suffered multiple heart attacks and struggled with congestive heart failure and diabetes, Bill Lee never had much of a dialogue with his doctors. "Doctors are the experts, so who was I to challenge them and what they were telling me?" says Mr. Lee, 55 years old, who is featured in a video that is part of the new campaign.

    He took medications without asking what they were for, sat for hours in waiting rooms and then felt rushed through appointments. It wasn't until a doctor told him he would keep having heart attacks and there was nothing more to be done that he says he realized he needed to start asking questions about his care.

    Read more at The Wall Street Journal

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