TEDMED Great Challenge Role of the Patient, Rebecca Burkholder Q2 Conflict


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Rebecca Burkholder weighs in on the Question #2 of the Great Challenges, Role of the Patient: Is there a conflict between empowering patients and honoring the expertise and authority of medical professionals? If so, what are the tradeoffs and how do we find the best balance?

To learn more visit www.tedmed.com/GreatChallenges.

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TEDMED Great Challenge Role of the Patient, Rebecca Burkholder Q2 Conflict

  1. 1. Question #2Is there a conflict between empoweringpatients and honoring the expertise andauthority of medical professionals? If so,what are the tradeoffs and how do wefind the best balance?
  2. 2. The answer is NO, because healthcare professionals shouldwelcome empowered and engagedpatients to the health care team!(But, we know this is not what always happens . . . )
  3. 3. Is there a conflict? Patients vs. Providers?• This question implies that the empowered patient is a threat to the health care professional (HCP), rather than an ally• And, we don’t think that should be the case• However, in reality there is sometimes disagreement
  4. 4. Empowered Patient vs. Authority of HCP• What influences contribute to that conflict and tip the balance of power in the relationship?
  5. 5. Tipping the Balance: Patient Access to Health InformationProliferation of health information on theInternet and patient reliance on it as scientificfindings (both the good and bad information)can be irritating to health care professionalsand affects the HCP-patient relationship.(Journal of Medical Internet Research)
  6. 6. The challenge ofsorting the goodhealth informationfrom the bad
  7. 7. Tipping the balance: Direct-to-Consumer(DTC) Advertising of prescription drugsand impact on HCP – Patient relationshipDTC ads have turned upside down the old relationship when the doctorwas god-like in knowledge of health issues and patients were deferential•Some say DTC educates and informs about health conditions andtreatments, and encourages dialogue•Others say ads promote inappropriate and overuse of drugs; notbalanced on risks and benefits (See these videos analyzing ads)
  8. 8. One study found that nearly 40% of physicianssaw the ads as damaging to the efficiency ofdoctor visits. The effect of the ads on the HCP-Patient relationship was strongly associated withdoing what the patient wanted regarding theadvertised drug
  9. 9. Balance of PowerInformation can tip the balance in the HCP-patientrelationshipBut shouldn’t access to information strengthen therelationship?
  10. 10. Open Notes project – evidence ofbringing together the empoweredpatient and HCP throughinformationThe project found that whenpatients have ready access to theirdoctors visit notes, the vast majorityfeel more in control of their health
  11. 11. With shared informationand collaboration comestrue partnership – and,most importantly of all,better health.