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What Do Consumers Demand from Modern Healthcare?

Posted on August 26, 2016 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

Consumer Demand for Modern Healthcare IT

This represents some really fascinating data and illustrates a major trend around consumer demand in healthcare. More and more patients are comfortable with some form of electronic healthcare. Over time I’m sure that this acceptance is going to grow into pure demand for these type of modern healthcare options. Are you prepared for this change?

Right now, most doctors don’t need to offer the services described above. Patients don’t generally choose their doctor using the above criteria, but over time I think that will likely change. As patients get the first glimpse of how much easier a telemedicine visit was as compared to an office visit, they’re going to want more. It’s the natural process of how these things evolve.

My fear is that many small practices are asleep at the wheel in this regard. This will likely lead to problems since their big health system competitors are going to roll this out in a broad way that could make it hard for small practices to compete if they don’t get on it early. Plus, large health system competitors will be able to do things like offer 24 hour services that a small practice just can’t reasonably offer.

At the end of the day, every small practice needs to ask themselves, what am I doing to create an amazing patient experience for those in my care. Small practices that do this will be successful and retain patients. Those that continue practicing business as usual will likely run into difficulties as consumer driven healthcare starts to take over.

Patient Self Management

Posted on August 25, 2016 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

I always find stats like this interesting, but misleading. The fallacy that most people apply to a stat like this is saying that because people want something they will actually do it. In this case, just because 90% of people want to self-manage their care, that doesn’t mean that 90% of patients will actually self-manage their care.

90% of people want to stop smoking, but they don’t. 100% of people want to be more fit and healthy, but we don’t. There are a lot of things that we want, but that doesn’t mean we actually want it enough to do something about it.

The reality is that most of us don’t think about our health until we have a problem. If you ask us if we care about our health, we’d all say that we do. However, our actions tell a very different story. Our actions say that most of us don’t really care about our health. Or at least that we don’t care about it enough to give up things that are harming our health.

In many ways our health system reflects this fact. Our doctor doesn’t really worry about our overall health. Our doctor mostly treats our chief complaint. In many cases, they don’t even dig down past our chief complaint. They certainly don’t proactively look for ways our lifestyle or environment are impacting our health. Should that change?

The question I keep asking is if the doctor is the right person to address this type of change in perspective when it comes to health. Should the doctor be the one to understand our overall health and address our health risks? Should we do it ourselves? Should a health app do it for us in a way that it motivates us enough to actually care about the unhealthy choices we make?

The last option seems like the most likely option to me. Doctors aren’t trained to treat you when you’re healthy. It would take a sea change for them to switch roles. Health apps, the health sensors that inform these apps, and the baseline health knowledge are all progressing so quickly that it’s not hard to see a day when a health app could better help us understand how the choices we make influence our health.

What do you think? Is there anything that will really help us understand the health impact from the choices we make? Do patients really want to self-manage their care?

Apple EMR

Posted on August 24, 2016 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

This tweet seems to have hit a nerve with me:

I realize that James Edwards was just being funny on Twitter, but I guess I’ve had too many people who seriously thought that Apple would get into the EMR business. They won’t. They never will. And I think it’s funny to think that just because Apple touches it, people think it will be all better.

Apple could pour its billions of dollars of cash into the EHR market and doctors would still complain about their solution. More and more I’m realizing that an EHR can only be so good because of the reimbursement and regulatory requirements that the EMR has to meet. Certainly, EHR software should be better than it is today, but it won’t be perfect until we see a sea change in the technology available (see my Video EHR idea) and/or the regulatory and reimbursement environment. Not even Apple can solve those.

However, beyond the fact that I don’t think Apple could make a beautiful EHR, I also think that Apple has no interest in being in the enterprise business. Yes, EHR software is an enterprise software and becoming more so every day. That’s not in Apple’s wheelhouse and they’re not going to get there either.

There are plenty of opportunities for Apple in healthcare. Consumer health devices and consumer health applications are the sweet spot for Apple and I could see them being a major player there. There’s so much opportunity there with their iPhone and iPad footprint. I think all of that is just a matter of time. Just stop talking about Apple entering the EHR space. It’s not going to happen.

Should Clinical Research Options Be Integrated Into Every EHR?

Posted on August 19, 2016 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

One of the amazing things of the internet and technology is the democratization of information. I recently heard that it’s not that the world is getting worse, but that our information is getting better (ie. we hear about all the bad things happening in the world). That really resonated with me. Although, it annoys me when information that could be useful still isn’t making it to the right people at the right place and the right time. The point being that our information could still be better.

This tweet and infographic illustrated how this is true in the world of clinical trials and research:

Clinical Research and Doctor Referrals

How often do research studies not get done because they don’t have the right patients? Far too many. How many patients don’t get treatment from clinical trials that could save their lives because they don’t know about it? Far too many.

All of this happens because there’s a disconnect in the information that’s available. As someone who’s spent so much time in the EHR world, the question for me is should every clinical trial option be integrated into every EHR? Should we casually alert doctors to potential clinical trials that could benefit the patient? The EHR could already pre-qualify them in many ways so that the doctor was only seeing trials for which the patient likely could qualify for. How many more studies would get done and patients lives would be saved?

The lack of clinical trial information in the EHR is why I think the above infographic shows a disconnect between doctors presenting patients clinical trial options or not. Technology and EHRs are the way we can bridge the disconnect between patients expectations and reality. This is why I believe that EHR software can be an incredible foundation for innovation. We’re just sadly not there yet. We should be when it comes to clinical trials.

Fixing the “Not My Problem” Culture in Healthcare – #KareoChat

Posted on August 17, 2016 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

It was pretty shocking to hear the news of the passing of Jess Jacobs, patient advocate and Aetna innovator. Life is certainly fragile and Jess’ passing was a reminder of that to me. While I certainly didn’t know her well, I’d had a chance to meet her a few times at HIMSS and Wen was nice enough to share a great picture of Jess having fun at the New Media Meetup which I organize. That made me smile.

As all the tributes to Jess Jacobs poured in, I admit that I didn’t know a good way that I could honor her memory until I was asked to host this week’s #KareoChat. Queued off of Ted Eytan, MD’s tribute to Jess, I thought it would be valuable to talk about what he calls the “Not My Problem” culture in healthcare and how we can change it in this week’s #KareoChat Twitter chat. My only regret is that we didn’t have this conversation while Jess was alive. I’m sure that she would have really added some depth (and likely a bit of snark) to the conversation. Instead, I’ll have to hope she’s smiling down on us trying to make the lives better for patients that are suffering in our health system like she did.

KareoChat - Not My Problem Culture in Healthcare - UnicornJess

You can follow along and participate in the #KareoChat on Thursday, August 18th at 9 AM PT (Noon ET). We’ll be discussing the following 6 questions:

  1. Have you seen the “Not My Problem” culture in healthcare?  Where and what impact did it have?
  2. How can small practices avoid the “Not My Problem” culture that sometimes exists?
  3. What can a small practice do to become more patient focused?
  4. Will becoming more patient focused be good or bad for a small practice’s business? Why or why not?
  5. What can we do to better help chronic patients who are suffering like #UnicornJess suffered?
  6. Do we see the “Not My Problem” issue in health IT towards doctors?  How?

As Dr. Eytan said in his post, I don’t think the people in healthcare are the problem. Most of the healthcare providers I know care deeply about the patient and want to be more patient focused. However, our system pushes a culture that often destroys the patient experience. Hopefully, in this chat we can talk about ways we can overcome or change that culture for the better of patients so that future patients don’t have to endure the painful patient experiences that Jess Jacobs had to endure.

If you want to learn more about Jess Jacobs, many people who knew her did this #UnicornJess Twitter chat where they told a lot of stories and memories about her. Also, the family has asked that donations be made in Jess’s honor to the Walking Gallery, a cause that was important to Jess.

Full Disclosure: Kareo is an advertiser on this blog.

What Do Med Students Need To Know About EMRs?

Posted on August 16, 2016 I Written By

Anne Zieger is veteran healthcare consultant and analyst with 20 years of industry experience. Zieger formerly served as editor-in-chief of FierceHealthcare.com and her commentaries have appeared in dozens of international business publications, including Forbes, Business Week and Information Week. She has also contributed content to hundreds of healthcare and health IT organizations, including several Fortune 500 companies. Contact her at @ziegerhealth on Twitter or visit her site at Zieger Healthcare.

Recently, I was asked to write an introduction to EMRs, focusing on what medical students needed to know in preparation for their future careers. This actually turned out to be a very interesting exercise, as it called for balancing history with the future, challenges with benefits and predictable future developments with some very interesting possibilities. Put another way, the exercise reminded me that any attempt to “explain” EMR technology calls for some fancy dancing.

Here’s some of the questions I tackled:

  • Do future doctors need to know more about how EMRs function today, or how they should probably function to support increasingly important patient management approaches like population health?
  • Do med students need to understand major technical discussions – such as the benefits of FHIR or how to wrangle Big Data – to perform as doctors? If so, how much detail is helpful?
  • How important is it to prepare med students to understand the role of data generated outside of traditional patient care settings, such as wearables data, remote monitoring and telemedicine consults? What do they need to know to prepare for the gradual integration of such data?
  • What skills, attitudes and practices will help physician trainees make the best use of EMRs and ancillary systems? And how should they obtain that knowledge?

These questions are thornier than they may appear at first glance, in part because there no hard-and-fast standards in place as to how doctors who’ve never run a practice on paper charts should conduct themselves. While there have been endless discussions about how to help doctors adopt an EMR for the first time, or switch from one to the other, I’m not aware of a mature set of best practices available to med students on how next-gen, health IT-assisted practices should function.

Certainly, offering med school trainees a look at the history of EMRs makes sense, as understanding the reasons early innovators developed the first systems offers some interesting insights. And introducing soon-to-be physicians to the benefits of wearable or remote monitoring data makes sense. Physicians will almost certainly improve the care they deliver by understanding EMRs then, now and their near-term evolution as data sources.

On the other hand, I’m not sure it makes sense to indoctrinate med students in today’s take on evolving topics like population health management or interoperability via FHIR. These paradigms are evolving so rapidly that pinning down a set of teachable ideas may be a disservice to these students.

Morever, telling students how to think about EMRs, or articulating what skills are needed to manage them, might actually be a bad idea. I’m optimistic enough to think that now that the initial adoption frenzy funded by HITECH is over, EMRs will become far more usable and physician-shapeable over the next few years, allowing new docs to adapt the tool to them rather than adapt to the tool.

All that being said, educating med students on EMRs and health IT ancillary tools is a great idea. I just hope that such training encourages them to keep learning well after the training is over.

The World is Going Remote and Mobile – Are You?

Posted on August 5, 2016 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

Anthony Guerra has a great post on his blog Health System CIO called “Cutting the Line.” If you’ve never read Anthony’s blog posts, he’s a great story teller and that post is a great example. Take a second to go and read the whole post, we’ll be here when you get back.

For those too lazy to click over to Anthony’s blog, here’s an excerpt of the full story which highlights the shift to remote and mobile that he’s been seeing happening in society:

And it isn’t just Starbucks that has gotten into the business of cutting out the personal touch (which nobody really wants anyway — think banking). A few days after my Starbucks experience, I got an email from my gym notifying members that those sitting poolside no longer had to trek to the outdoor café to grab their lunch (and that line really stinks). Now, you could order right from your lounge chair and have your salad and smoothie delivered without missing a ray of sunshine.

Oh, and as if everyone suddenly got a “go-remote” memo at once, the next day I saw this signat one of my favorite burrito places. I guess everyone realizes their customers get no pleasure from waiting on lines. What do customers want? The product, the result — so why not have it ready, or deliver it straight to them?

The world, as we know, is going remote and mobile, and it’s going there fast.

We’ve all seen this happening in one way or another. Ironically, I went into Dominos and had this very same experienced. I’d ordered it all online. I walked in, told them my name and walked out. There was a bit of a rush that they had it waiting for me while I saw two poor saps sitting there waiting for their orders. If I didn’t have kids, I could have literally done that order with a simple voice command to Alexa. Although, I haven’t enabled that feature since I don’t want my kids ordering pizza at their whim.

What’s interesting is that there are very few experiences in healthcare that are like this. A few pharmacies have made it almost this easy to pickup a refill. That’s the closest we’ve come. Shouldn’t we be able to do more?

I think the answer is that we could and we should. I think the reason we aren’t is that we’ve overburdened our doctors and practices as a whole. Between meaningful use, ICD-10, ACOs, MACRA, etc etc etc, when have practices had time to work on innovative interactions with their patients. Doctors are running as fast as they can on the treadmill that is healthcare and now we’ve asked them to become data entry clerks while running on that treadmill. It takes a pretty special doctor to find the time to start thinking of and implementing consumer centric interactions with their patients.

I guess this is why I’m so torn by the current state of our healthcare system. There are so many opportunities to improve the experience for both patients and doctors. However, we’re all too burdened with minutia that there’s no room to innovate. The question I keep asking is when will we break free of the chains of bureaucracy and be able to implement these type of consumer focused innovations? At what point will some healthcare organizations break through the barrier and essentially make it a standard of care for which all others will have to follow? I look forward to that day.

Mobile EHR Access Is Maturing

Posted on August 4, 2016 I Written By

Anne Zieger is veteran healthcare consultant and analyst with 20 years of industry experience. Zieger formerly served as editor-in-chief of FierceHealthcare.com and her commentaries have appeared in dozens of international business publications, including Forbes, Business Week and Information Week. She has also contributed content to hundreds of healthcare and health IT organizations, including several Fortune 500 companies. Contact her at @ziegerhealth on Twitter or visit her site at Zieger Healthcare.

Today I read a story that surprised me, though perhaps it shouldn’t have. A clinician, writing for a publication called Diagnostic Imaging, suggests that a “mobile EHR” is emerging, a new entity which embraces mobile technology rather than treating it as an add-on. I wasn’t surprised that this was happening, but it is remarkable that it’s taken us so long to get to this point.

As Saroj Misra, DO, notes, healthcare organizations are rolling out infrastructure for clinicians to access EHR data via mobile devices, and EHR vendors are ramping up development of mobile interfaces for their systems. And physicians are responding. According to a recent Physicians Practice survey, 78% of physicians are now using mobile-accessible EHRs, and more than 85% of doctors and practices were using mobile devices to do their jobs.

As he sees it there were three big issues which previously held back the development of mobile EHRs:

  • Mobile device screens were too small, and battery life was inadequate.
  • EHR vendors hadn’t created interfaces which worked effectively with mobile devices
  • Healthcare organizations weren’t convinced that mobile EHR access protected health data sufficiently

Today, these problems have receded into the background. Screens have gotten larger, battery life has been extended, and while security is always an issue, standards for protecting mobile data are gradually emerging. Also, healthcare organizations are developing mobile device management policies which help to address BYOD issues.

In response, EHR developers are embracing mobile EHR access. There’s vendors like drchrono, which is a mobile-native EHR, but that’s not all.  Other ambulatory vendors, like athenahealth, describe themselves as a “provider of network-enabled services for electronic health records,” and MEDITECH’s Web Ambulatory app runs on a tablet.  Also, Cerner’s PowerChart Touch solution is built for the Apple iPad.

At this point, I truly wonder why all EHRs aren’t developed primarily with mobile deployment in mind. Physicians have been engaged mobile device users since smartphones and tablets first emerged, and the need for them to manage patients on the go has only increased over time. I know desktops still have their place, but the reality is that empowering physicians to take patient data with them is overwhelmingly sensible.

My sense, after researching this post, is that ongoing security worries are probably the biggest roadblock to further mobile EHR deployment. And I understand why, of course. After all, many of the major health data breaches occur thanks to a stolen laptop “walking away” when it’s left unattended, and mobile devices may be just as vulnerable.

That being said, the benefits of giving doctors an elegant mobile EHR solution are substantial. With the right targeted security policies in place, I believe the benefits of robust mobile EHR deployment – particularly giving clinicians on-the-spot data access and getting immediate data back — far outweigh these risks. I sincerely hope the HIT software industry agrees!

New ONC Scorecard Tool Grades C-CDA Documents

Posted on August 2, 2016 I Written By

Anne Zieger is veteran healthcare consultant and analyst with 20 years of industry experience. Zieger formerly served as editor-in-chief of FierceHealthcare.com and her commentaries have appeared in dozens of international business publications, including Forbes, Business Week and Information Week. She has also contributed content to hundreds of healthcare and health IT organizations, including several Fortune 500 companies. Contact her at @ziegerhealth on Twitter or visit her site at Zieger Healthcare.

The ONC has released a new scorecard tool which helps providers and developers find and resolve interoperability problems with C-CDA documents. According to HealthDataManagement, C-CDA docs that score well are coded with appropriate structure and semantics under HL7, and so have a better chance of being parseable by different systems.

The scorecard tool, which can be found here, actually offers two different types of scores for C-CDA documents, which must be uploaded to the site to be analyzed. One score diagnoses whether the document meets the requirements of the 2015 Edition Health IT Certification for Transitions of Care, granting a pass/fail grade. The other score, which is awarded as a letter grade ranging from A+ to D, is based on a set of enhanced interoperability rules developed by HL7.

The C-CDA scorecard takes advantage of the work done to develop SMART (Substitutable Medical Apps Resusable Technologies). SMART leverages FHIR, which is intended to make it simpler for app developers to access data and for EMR vendors to develop an API for this purpose. The scorecard, which leverages open-source technology, focuses on C-CDA 2.1 documents.

The SMART C-CDA scorecard was designed to promote best practices in C-CDA implementation by helping creators figure out how well and how often they follow best practices. The idea is also to highlight improvements that can be made right away (a welcome approach in a world where improvement can be elusive and even hard to define).

As SMART backers note, existing C-CDA validation tools like the Transport Testing Tool provided by NIST and Mode-Driven Health Tools, offer a comprehensive analysis of syntactic conformance to C-CDA specs, but don’t promote higher-level best practices. The new scorecard is intended to close this gap.

In case developers and providers have HIPAA concerns, the ONC makes a point of letting users know that the scorecard tool doesn’t retain submitted C-CDA files, and actually deletes them from the server after the files have been processed. That being said, ONC leaders still suggest that submitters not include any PHI or personally-identifiable information in the scorecards they have analyzed.

Checking up on C-CDA validity is becoming increasingly important, as this format is being used far more often than one might expect. For example, according to a story appearing last year in Modern Healthcare:

  • Epic customers shared 10.2 million C-CDA documents in March 2015, including 1.3 million outside the Epic ecosystem (non-Epic EMRs, HIEs and the health systems for the Defense and Veterans Affairs Departments)
  • Cerner customers sent 7.3 million C-CDA docs that month, more than half of which were consumed by non-Cerner systems.
  • Athenahealth customers sent about 117,000 C-CDA documents directly to other doctors during the first quarter of 2015.

Critics note that it’s still not clear how useful C-CDA information is to care, nor how often these documents are shared relative to the absolute number of patient visits. Still, even if the jury is still out on their benefits, it certainly makes sense to get C-CDA docs right if they’re going to be transmitted this often.

We Self-Diagnose Our Car, Why Not Our Health?

Posted on July 29, 2016 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

Today my wife went out to move my car and came back to tell me that my battery was dead. This is a common thing in Las Vegas since it’s so dry it kills batteries regularly. However, I was intrigued that my wife with no training as a mechanic had diagnosed the health of my car and rendered a diagnosis. I’ll be going to check that indeed it’s the case. If jumping my car doesn’t last, then I’ll have to take the battery in where they’ll run the battery tester to confirm her diagnosis.

When I take the battery in, the mechanic won’t question my diagnosis. He won’t feel like I haven’t trained long enough to know if the battery might be the problem. He’ll run the tests to verify what I’m saying, but he’ll work collaboratively with me to fix the problem.

Why is it so different in healthcare?

In reality, it’s not that different. We’ve been self-diagnosing in healthcare for a long time. There’s a whole industry of over the counter medications that anyone can go and take to treat their health condition with no doctor involvement at all. We self diagnose and self treat with no intervention from the doctor at all. Why then do so many doctors (not all of them) balk at the idea of the patient working to understand their issue and identify their diagnosis?

I think there’s two reasons that this scares doctors. First, a minority of patients have ruined it for the rest of us. Some patients go into their doctor and are completely disrespectful. They treat the doctor as someone who should just give them whatever they want and whatever they ask for. It’s shameful and a few of these “bad apples” will no doubt make a doctor gun shy when the next patient comes in respectfully talking about their own efforts to diagnose their issues. We can’t let a few bad apples spoil the bunch.

Second, the tools we have available today have opened up so many new worlds for patients to be able to be more informed about possible health issues. This starts with Dr. Google which is literally available to us at our fingertips or even at our beck and call (ie. Siri, Alexa, Google, and Galaxy). It continues with this wave of health sensors and health apps which help us better understand our own health and possible health issues we may be experiencing. Both of these are only going to get better. Before we might diagnose a fever but with new technologies we might eventually be able to know if we have diabetes or some other more complex disease. It’s not hard to see how patients will know more than doctors about their own individual health. This is scary, because with increased information and data we can do so much more. However, with that power also comes new risks.

Going back to the car analogy. A dead battery is something pretty easy to diagnose in a car. I’ve even had enough experience with cars that I could probably diagnose an alternator problem. However, while I could diagnose the problem, I certainly am not capable of fixing the problem. Plus, it’s possible that the mechanic might replace the alternator and there are still problems or I might suggest that it’s a problem with the alternator, but they find something else which is really causing the problem because they understand how a car works better than me.

We’re going to find a very similar experience in healthcare. We may be able to eventually know that we’re a diabetic, but we’ll need the healthcare system and doctors working collaboratively with us to actually fix the problem. Plus, we may think we’re a diabetic, but once we see the doctor we’ll find out that what appeared to be diabetes was something else that had similar symptoms. That’s ok and normal. Much like we wouldn’t freak out at our mechanic for finding a different diagnosis, we shouldn’t freak out at our doctor.

The reality is that healthcare must be a collaboration between patient and doctor. Neither should feel so arrogant that they don’t listen to or disrespect the other. Patients should present the doctor with their symptoms, experiences, and findings so that the doctor has as much information about your health needs as possible. Doctors should be excited to have a patient that’s deeply interested in their health. Together they can work through the findings to help everyone understand the best path forward and why something the patient found might not be accurate or appropriate for them.

The very best doctors I know love this type of collaboration with their patients. They also hate when patients arrive in a disrespectful and arrogant way. We need to purge the later from the system so that they don’t ruin it for the rest of us and the doctors.