Three times during the past month a friend has asked for advice regarding his/her personal health care or that of a family member out of frustration and concern stemming from not receiving clear communication/information about the health problem(s). This scenario is all too common. Despite the ostensible focus on patient experience/satisfaction, the informed patient, and shared decision-making, health care professionals, health plans, and plan sponsors too frequently are not providing the explanation/information that patients and/or their caregivers seek. Sometimes language incompatibility, gaps in health literacy, or cultural differences lead to the disconnects. In all three of these instances, the individuals are well-educated and work within health care with good foundational knowledge of medicine, though are not clinically trained. Those of us involved in the delivery, coordination, and management of health care are accountable to improve our performance to our patients, members, or their caregivers/loved ones. We must provide clear and understandable information.
Steven R. Peskin, MD, MBA, FACP
Executive Vice President and Chief Medical Officer
of MediMedia, USA, which publishes Managed Care