Assurance - A Commitment to Informed Care
Updated: Jun 19
Information referred to in this series will continue to be posted on Foot Notes
The noblest pleasure of all is the joy of understanding - Leonardo da Vinci
After my retirement in September many of my patients asked me what's next? What are you going to do? Relax, travel, play golf, spend more time with your family and grandkids! Most likely all of the above. But I have another act coming because my profession as a physician still remains a large part of who I am. As a physician consultant I have always been involved in panels as an advisor on quality assurance and standards of care and I want to extend my influence in that direction.
One of my projects involves my commitment to informed care. As health care's digital front door widens and more patients are confronted with disparate information it becomes more difficult for patients to understand the reasons and options for care. To make decisions with certainty and confidence when often times the current health care system looks to automate diagnosis and management leaving many patients uncertain and confused.
My speciality, medicine and surgery of the foot and ankle, seems to be especially vulnerable to misguidance and misinformation and over the years much of my practice involved second opinions, patient education and surgical redoes. Over the next few months I will be including a series of posts in Foot Notes called Assurance that blends my years of clinical experience and diplomate status in the analysis and treatment of the foot and ankle with my post doctoral certification in physician quality assurance and utilization review.
My purpose is to review common conditions of the foot, ankle and lower extremity patients most often present with and discuss informed decision making to improve patient certainty in understanding their options for treatment as they seek care with confidence. It is not meant to take the place of a provider encounter but to give you as a patient a level of understanding to make that encounter more useful and productive as needed.
One of the many lessons COVID taught us is that, as a nation, our health IQ needs to improve so that we can be more certain about the decisions we make about the health of ourselves and our families. A growing body of evidence shows that higher patient activation (i.e., those patients with the knowledge and confidence to become actively engaged in their health care) have better health outcomes*. Better health care outcomes are a win-win situation for both patients and providers with overall benefits for improved population health. We want you to move forward with confidence and assurance to make this happen.
This article is part of the Assurance Series - posts on understanding, interpreting and making sense of your diagnosis and plan of treatment. First post - What's Your Health IQ?
*Hibbard JH, Greene J. What the evidence shows about patient activation: better health outcomes and care experiences; fewer data on costs. Health Aff (Millwood). 2013 Feb;32(2):207-14. doi: 10.1377/hlthaff.2012.1061. PMID: 23381511.