Don Berwick on Patient Centeredness

As mentioned in the last blog Don Berwick is Obama’s candidate for the new head for CMS. Berwick’s views on patient centeredness are ones he claims will completely re-orchestrate the medical field. He essentially feels that what is analyzed and what is done to a patient should be ultimately the patient’s decision. If a patient decides that they want an MRI, they should be allowed to get one, even if the doctor doesn’t see it as necessary.

“I contemplate in this a mature dialogue, in which an informed professional engages in a full conversation about why he or she-the professional-disagrees with a patient’s choice. If, over time, a pattern emerges of scientifically unwise or unsubstantiated choices-like lots and lots of patients’ choosing scientifically needless MRIs -then we should seek to improve our messages, instructions, educational processes, and dialogue to understand and seek to remedy the mismatch.”

These words match my own views almost perfectly. The goals of doctors and medical facilities should primarily be educating patients and leading THEM into making wiser decisions. Leave the choice ultimately to the person in which the act will affect! I personally feel all decisions made in regards as to what a person does with their own body and life should be left up to the person whose body and life it is. Of course, this ideal effects a large range of categories, and medicine is definitely a big one of them.

In general I feel education is the answer, and that no person anywhere should blindly follow what they are told by anyone. This means by our government, by our doctor, by our teachers, or by our parents. Learning is not about memorizing what those before you thought and said, but it about UNDERSTANDS what those before you understood, and then building on it. Just because they say it’s true, doesn’t mean it’s true. Just because she’s says you can trust her, doesn’t mean you CAN trust her.

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