Thomas Goetz, author of The Decision Tree: Taking Control of Your Health in the New Era of Personalized Medicine, gave a talk on TEDMed about how patients can make better healthcare decisions.
He quickly points out that Fear is NOT an effective motivator when it come to healthcare decision-making processes (ex. if you don’t lose weight and reduce your cholesterol, you will be at risk of cardiovascular disease).
Instead, he outlines a positive, personalized, information loop, that does prove to be very effective in motivating patients to make better healthcare decisions.
In this decision-making model, he describes getting from problem to solutions through pathways of personalized information and customized treatment via an information loop. Here are the components of the loop:
- Personalized Information – information specific to each patient (data such as lab results and diagnosis), is connected to the question of where they want to go with that information. What is the pathway to achieving better health? This is the first part of the loop.
- Relevance – How does the personalized information connect to each patient’s particular circumstances? And, what is the significance of the personalized information? This is the second phase of the loop.
- What choices/options does the patient have, what are the trade-off and benefits? This is the third phase of the loop.
- Clear point of action – that influences and changes the personalized information, which feeds back into step 1, personalized information. This creates a feedback loop.
He states that this feedback loop of checking in, with personalized information, relevance, options, and clear point of action will help patients make better decisions about their care. He also cites four questions to ask your doctor:
- Can I have my results?
- What does it mean – what do I need to know to understand this condition?
- What are my options to address or treat this condition? (there could be several ) Are there side effects? What are the trade-offs?
- What’s next – What would my decision mean? How would it affect my options?
For someone recovering from surgery, such as hip replacement, a course of physical therapy, a nutritional plan to optimize healing, and occupational therapy can help a patient better navigate the challenges of the home environment until recovery is achieved.
Complicated medical conditions can be overwhelming for patients and family members. It is important that everyone clearly understand the long-term significance of a diagnosis. One of the many benefits that Active In-Home Therapy offers our patients and their families is the management and coordination of their therapeutic care. We take careful consideration of the personal data and environmental resources. We then coordinate services to optimize the recovery goals and improve the quality of life. Daily, weekly, and monthly accomplishments are measured and reassessed. Changes and improvements inform the next steps. In this way, patients and their families are supported in the shared decision-making process.
~Karl Power, CEO