The Patient Perspective

3:10 PM - 3:50 PM

“…Seek to understand, rather than to be understood.”

Knowingly or not, St. Francis bequeathed to us a bottleneck. How can patient safety information be well brewed and properly decanted, when the brewmaster never meets those who thirst?

Perhaps the words of a close relative with lymphoma, speaking to his physician, can provide a guide:

            “Put yourself in my shoes.

            Tell me what I need to know.

            Make me tell it back to you.

            And tell me again tomorrow.”

Whether a patient is unconcerned about risks until the word “safe” suggests the possibility of an alternative, or whether the patient can list potential side effects even before a treatment is offered, there is no waiver available when patient safety data needs to be communicated so that it may be understood. Determining whether it is understood is the bottleneck, often ignored. We are all patients. We may not know that we failed to understand a critical concept in a patient safety explanation. Dr. Neault will discuss what we know of patients’ preference for and understanding of patient safety information based on the method or methods of communication, level of detail, just-in-time learning, and opportunities for interactive clarification and personalization.