If you have high blood pressure it’s critical to collaborate with your doctor when treating it.

While SPRINT produced some interesting data on how best to treat high blood pressure, the flaws in the study, and the high rate of adverse events like syncope and acute kidney injury mean that wise physicians must exert great caution in the implementation of more aggressive BP targets.

This science is far from complete. In the setting of such medical uncertainty, only collaboratively shared decisions with a full explanation of the risks, benefits, alternatives and unknowns should be the standard of practice.

Take charge of your health and healthcare, and collaborate with your doctors to make shared decisions.  We can help you to collaborate with information and coaching.

New SPRINT trial data raises more questions.

Another important reason to take charge of your health and healthcare by strongly collaborating with your doctor.

It is critical to understand the risks, benefits, alternatives and UNKNOWNS of all your medical decisions.  Many new medications have a lot of unknowns regarding their efficacy and safety, and those unknowns must be considered when deciding to prescribe them.  If your doctor doesn’t have time to discuss the full thinking behind a decision to use a new medication and allow you to share in that decision, we can help.

Drug safety issues often arise after FDA approval, a new study finds Does it mean drugs should undergo more rigorous pre-approval testing? Not necessarily, one expert says CBSNEWS.COM

How discussing risks, benefits, alternatives and unknowns can make a difference for you

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Your doctors should be listening to you, understanding your goals and values, and explaining the risks, benefits, alternatives, and unknowns of your care.

If your doctor does not fully discuss those with you, then you can’t make choices that fit your own goals and values.

Jan Vick Harris courageously published an account of what happened to her after a mammogram picked up a ductal carcinoma in situ, and she went forward with treatment decisions that she did not fully understand.  The account illustrates the critical importance of this process of care.  A link to the article is included below.

After reading her story, imagine if she could have had a discussion with her doctor before she had her mammogram. She would have been better prepared for dealing with the ensuing course of action that became confusing, unsatisfying and potentially harmful to her.

She needed that discussion, and her doctor listening to her thoughts, both before the mammogram, and before embarking on the uncertain course of treatment that her doctors prescribed.

If your doctors are not thoroughly discussing risks, benefits alternatives and unknowns with you, or they’re not listening carefully to your views on them, contact Operam Healthcare for a no cost consultation on how we can help.

 

 

You can read Jan Vick Harris story here

 

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It has never been more important to be in charge of your own healthcare

Operam Healthcare LLC.  Collaborative Healthcare Coaching that puts people at the center of their healthcare.

We listen. We educate. We advise. We Advocate. 

Understand. Take charge. Make the right healthcare decisions with your doctors.

The massive changes in modern healthcare have created fragmentation, conflicts and communication gaps that can lead to ineffective or unsafe care.  Operam Healthcare is dedicated to helping you better understand your health and your illnesses.  We will assist you in collaborating better with your doctors to make safe and wise medical decisions for you and your family.

We start by listening to you and your story.  Then we help you translate the information your doctors provide, and help you to interpret it with a sophisticated understanding of what it means for you.  We can walk by your side when you or your family must navigate an episode of acute illness, adapt to a chronic illness, or plan the safest and most effective strategies for optimal health.

It’s health and healthcare coaching, advising, advocating and educating based on over 40 years of experience in providing complex healthcare to the most complex patients.  It’s designed to give you the ability to overcome the medical uncertainty and the dangerous fragmentation that often overwhelm people using the healthcare system.

Most primary Care Doctors no longer speak directly to specialists they consult, or see their patients when they are in the hospital.  That disconnect makes it difficult for your your treating doctors to know your full medical story. Your doctor is busy, and can’t always provide the collaborative coaching that you need to take charge of your health and health care.  We will coach you when your doctor can’t.

Contact us to learn more about collaborative healthcare coaching.

Medical Uncertainty

Medical uncertainty.

Incomplete science is a major problem that you and your doctors must grapple with. That means sorting out the risks, benefits, alternatives and unknowns of every medical decision.

While medical science has advanced rapidly over the past 100 years, medicine is not a science like engineering. Engineers build bridges that rarely fail because they use well-tested science. The best medical treatments can still fail because of the uncertainties that haunt medical science. Doctors can’t hurt or destroy the objects of their study the way physicists can, so it’s a lot harder for them to fully test their science. Plus, as with all human endeavors, medical science is susceptible to the confusion created by biases and emotions, as the attached article about the uncertainties of fats in our food nicely shows.

Doctors should present the science behind their decisions to help manage the risks,benefits, alternatives and unknowns of their decisions with you. If your doctors don’t have the time to fully explain their plans, we can help you interpret and analyze the science, and the risks, benefits, alternatives and unknowns with your doctors. We help you collaborate so you can direct the medical choices you and your doctor make together.

It’s your health. We help you take charge of it. Contact us via email or call for more information on how.

Check out the NY Times article to learn more.

Understanding collaborative healthcare coaching

Diagnosis – Risks – Benefits – Alternatives – Unknowns – Safety

Every medical decision should account for those.  Doctors don’t have the kind of exact science that some professionals like engineers do.  When designing a bridge engineers can rely on precise formulas to create a structure that will rarely fail.  Because medical science is still imprecise, doctors must take definitive action with incomplete scientific knowledge.  Even the best medical decision carries risk for failure.  The right medicine can be dangerous or even fatal when a patient has an unpredictable or uncommon reaction to it.  Medical conditions have far too many variations for our current science to account for.

As healthcare has grown more complex, it has become difficult or sometimes even impossible for doctors to keep track of all of the variables that affect your health and your treatment decisions.   Doctors also have less and less time to get to know your own values and goals.  A good doctor will coach each patient on how they can best manage the risks, benefits, alternatives, unknowns and safety of tests for making a diagnosis, or treatments that enable healing.  Incomplete healthcare coaching can increase uncertainty, or cause unwanted risks and outcomes.  We have decades of experience collaborating with patients to make good medical decisions that they were in charge of.

We don’t provide your medical care, but we will help you assure that yours accounts your own goals and values, and addresses the risks, benefits, alternatives, unknowns and safety of every decision your doctors make with you.  We will also help you to execute those decisions safely and effectively.

Contact us to see if collaborative healthcare coaching is right for you.

How to collaborate with your doctors and take charge of your medical decisions

Do you feel bewildered after a visit to the doctor?  Do you feel unsure that your treatment plan is right for you?  Do you feel like you don’t have control of the decisions your doctor makes for you?   I have seen many patients who have felt that way, and often they were right about something their doctor had overlooked or not understood about them or their treatment decision.

In its drive to reduce costs, the healthcare financing system has moved from a goal of enabling individuals to receive affordable, high quality care to a goal of treating populations to maximize the benefits and minimize costs for the group being covered.  More and more doctors are paid for the value they bring to the entire population they treat, rather than for treating the patient sitting in the office with them.

It is more critical than ever to ask the right questions of your doctor to assure that your care is the right care for you as an individual, not just the care that follows the guidelines designed to work cost-effectively for a larger group.

Our course on how to collaborate in your medical decisions introduces the concepts you need to take charge of your healthcare in this changing environment.

Contact us to find out more about our course.