CONCORD, Mass., Sept. 24, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Are you really getting the best medical care? We like to believe that when we're being treated by a physician or medical team that they know all the answers related to our illness and treatment.
But Nancy Michaels, a patient satisfaction expert whose latest book is Patient Speak, 7 Communication Practices to Improve Patient and Family Experience, says patients can no longer rely on the pros alone. "As consumers, we need to claim control over our health and be sure we understand what all of our options are related to diagnosis and recommended treatment," she warns.
Michaels, who regularly speaks to medical and health-care audiences about ways to improve patient satisfaction, engagement and the overall patient experience, also delivers advice gleaned from her own personal experience as a patient. In 2005, in what seemed like an instant, she found herself in a health crisis that nearly killed her twice. In that year, she underwent an emergency liver transplant and cranial procedure. Significant medical complications left her in a two-month coma in the intensive care unit at a major Boston medical facility.
In an interview, she can explain what every patient should know when seeking medical treatment. She can answer such questions as:
- How can you question doctors about the accuracy of diagnosis or for a second opinion without offending them?
- What should you ask about treatment options including clinical trials?
- Where are good places online to learn more about your condition?
- Who should come to appointments with you and how can that person help?
- How can you can access the doctor's notes?
- Can you share some of the communication strategies from your book?
Praise for Patient Speak
"Words matter. The things physicians and nurses say have an outsized impact on our patients' physical and emotional health. Nancy Michaels' book Patient Speak provides helpful guidance on what to say and how to say it. Following this advice will help us be better clinicians and better people."— Daniel Z. Sands, MD, MPH, Harvard Medical School and Society for Participatory Medicine
"My work focuses on what works for people on their journey towards best health. Our journey depends on the relationships among all members of our health team. Relationships rely on responsive communication. I have little energy to teach my team unless I feel fairly well. Our time is now. Let's use it well. Nancy Michael's 7 Communication Practices provides a concise guide to share with your clinician team members. Keep a spare on hand to share." -- Danny van Leeuwen, @HealthHats
About the author
Nancy Michaels provides inspirational speeches on such topics as "Lessons Learned from Dying" to audiences around the world. She has worked with the ICU Patient Advisory Council at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center to improve the ICU patients' experience. She is a member of the Patient and Family Advisory Council - The Partnership for Patients. This initiative is a public-private partnership working to improve the quality, safety and affordability of health care for all Americans. Patient Speak is her fourth book. Michaels has been featured by CNN-fn, Fox News, and Weekend Today Show among others.
SOURCE Nancy Michaels