the_word_that_shall_not_be_spoken..

Apr 25th, 2015
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The Word That Shall Not Be SpokenDuring the years when I worked in an academic integrated delivery system, my colleagues and I would frequently discuss patients' experiences and ways to improve our management of their pain and reduce their confusion as they navigated our complex organization. We knew that anxiety is inevitable for patients facing health issues, but we also knew that there is anxiety, and there isunnecessaryanxiety caused, for example, by the uncertainty that weighs on patients and their families while they await a consultation for a potentially serious diagnosis, or the confusion induced when clinicians give conflicting information. We worked hard to reduce these problems. From a business perspective, it was a smart strategy; from a clinician's perspective, it was obviously the right thing to do.So it was a pleasant surprise when I studied the business strategy of a company that assesses patients' experiences and found that it was based on helping health care providers reduce suffering. This strategic framework divided suffering into three types: suffering from disease (e.g., pain), suffering from treatment (e.g., complications), and suffering ind

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