With the ever-increasing emphasis on patient-centered care, several industry organizations recommend that physicians have detailed conversations with patients about their medications.
The Journal of General Internal Medicine offers a simple, easy-to-remember, three-step process to begin these conversations:
The two most important things you can do:
Sometimes, patients may need extra time to consider the options before deciding. They may want to talk with a trusted friend or family member. Or they may want to do additional research on their own.
Shared decision making has benefits for you and your patients. Treatments are better understood, patients have more accurate expectations of both good and bad consequences, and there is better adherence to treatment.
While having these conversations may be challenging due to patients’ low health literacy, time constraints, and cultural or language barriers, they build positive relationships and strengthen trust, experts say. Initiating this conversation shows that physicians value the patient’s concerns and preferences.
And doing so demonstrates that physicians respect the patient’s ability to make informed decisions.