Heart To Heart

With increasing improvement in medical sciences, patients who have suffered a heart attack and stroke are able to live a long and productive life. In patients with such chronic infirmity, effective improvement is based on continuity of care backed by the education of the patient, who is encouraged to participate in managing his illness. Communication between the doctor and the patient is important to improve the quality of life. The quality of communication received is a major determinant of patient behavior and attitude. A well-communicated patient could be easily distinguished from many by his satisfaction with the doctor, comprehension, and memory of the information received treatment adherence, level of reassurance and cooperative response to the relationship with the physician.

Patient-physician communication

Sadly, in modern times of scientific therapeutics, communications with the patient is inconsequential. Often, the treatment and methods are correct, but due to lack of affiliation with the doctor, the patient responds inadequately to the treatment. The patient is overcast with his physical ailment and out of his respect, prefers to keep quiet unless encouraged by the physician. Other important impediments to his silence are cultural and language barriers and inability on the part of the physician to understand the patient’s perspective. Many a time, it has been observed that therapeutic benefits are obtained by venting concerns in a safe environment with a caring clinician. Appropriate reassurance or pragmatic suggestions to help with problem-solving and setting up a structured plan of action may be an important part of the patient care that is required. Shared decision-making forms an important part of problem-solving in the present era of quality-conscious, health care approach.

The patient’s doctor

The physician must involve himself in active listening, acute observation, and empathy with the patient’s background and values. His preferences and concerns need to be prioritized. Many times it has been observed that a calm doctor with good listening abilities is better than loads of medications and endless instructions. Even in emergencies, it is the doctor,s reassuring words which stabilize the patient and bring him back to life well before the effects of medicines become visible. A satisfied patient who has understood his disease process will also come to terms with his disability, its prognosis and be able to cope better with the same too. Age of modern digital gadgets has not only reduced interpersonal verbal communications but also has cast a lasting negative impression on information exchange with verbal discussions amongst patients relatives and doctors. Perhaps the increasing outcry for the medical community is partly due to lack of information exchange between the public and care givers.

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