How Can Hospitals Help a Patient Become Truly Informed?

March 8, 2017 | Strategic Insights for Health System


​Informed consent does not usually leave patients as informed as they should be, according to a March 1, 2017, article in the New York Times by two physicians from the Cleveland Clinic. The article was directed at patients, but the advice can easily be used to help providers communicate better with patients. The authors provide seven tips that can help patients become better informed. First, the authors advise, patients should ask doctors to use common words and to clarify when using clinical terms such as "urostomy" or "simple iliac ileal conduit." Next, patients should summarize what they heard (i.e., teach back) to doctors to ensure that they understand clearly.

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