Saturday, November 5, 2011

News Brief: Few Doctors, Nurses Report Asking Patients About What They Expect in Their Care

Enshu Chawla

A study conducted by BMJ Quality & Safety has shown that medical professionals-- specifically nurses and physicians-- tend not to ask patients for their expectations regarding their care. This has shown to be a problem because patients benefit more from medical care if they can trust and communicate with their doctors. While nurses are more likely to talk to patients about their expectations, physicians, too, realize the importance of this communication. However, they do not have the proper training in order to discover what the patients may expect from their care. This trend is prevalent throughout the world. Doctors surveyed at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, along with physicians in Denmark, Israel, and the United Kingdom agree that they lack the training to ask patients about their expectations. Only about 20 percent of those surveyed believe otherwise. So while medical professionals understand that patient expectations should be taken into account, the majority of them do not ask the patients for this information. One way of improving this problem has been the rise of the use of patient satisfaction surveys. David W. Bates and Ronen Rozenblum, who are associated with Brigham and Women's Hospital, are working on the PatientSatisfactive Model. This model is supposed to help medical professionals gain insight on the expectations of their patients through asking the right questions. Although the lack of physicians and nurses who ask their patients what their expectations are has been widespread, steps are being taken towards improving on this problem.

Reference: Conaboy, Chelsea. "Few Doctors, Nurses Report Asking Patients about What They Expect in Their Care." The Boston Globe. . Oct 25 2011.
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