Patients should feel comfortable communicating with their primary care physician.
A wellness visit isn\’t a one-time event; it\’s part of an ongoing relationship with your physician. Patients should be able to come to their physician with any concerns and feel comfortable discussing treatment options. Being able to openly talk about previous medical problems and procedures can make an office visit much more efficient. Holding back information could jeopardize your health. Physicians want their patients to know that they are here to alleviate those sufferings long–term, whether it is emotional or physical.
Colorado Primary Health Care is advocating Shared Decision Making, which means physicians and patients work together to both assess and treat ailments with consideration of the patient’s lifestyle and overall preferences. Cases in which a patient doesn’t feel their voice is heard by the diagnosing clinician is not an ideal patient experience and a poor example of Shared Decision Making.
Sometimes, patients may have a request for a referral, specific medication prescription, or test that may not be in their best interest or appropriate given their diagnosis. The clinician must take into account what is best for the patient\’s health long and short–term, while also balancing patient requests, risks, and cost. This is evident in situations involving controlled substances, anxiety medications, pain medications or narcotics. Not only should physicians address the patient\’s symptoms, but do it in a way that is appropriate for patients to understand the importance of taking medications regularly, chronically, and safely.