Neither clinicians nor patients like the idea of “one-size-fits-all” health care. Recently, the concept of “personalized medicine,” also called “precision medicine,” has been popularized. Personalized medicine involves tailoring the diagnosis and treatment to the risks of disease and likelihood of response to treatments for individuals, rather than populations.
Read more about what “personalized medicine” really means
About 1 in 3 adults ages 50 to 75 have never been screened for colon cancer or isn’t up-to-date with recommended screenings. Screening lowers the risk of death from colon cancer, and experts encourage people with no family history to start regular screening at age 50.
Read more about choosing the right screening test for colon cancer
Two weeks ago, The New York Times published a story about a change in the way prostate cancer is treated. Today, almost half of men diagnosed with early-stage prostate cancer are able to avoid surgery and radiation by making an informed choice to opt for active surveillance instead.
Read more about the shift in prostate cancer treatment
I recently returned from the American College of Physicians (ACP) annual meeting in Washington, DC. The ACP is the largest medical specialty organization in the world, with 147,000 members spanning the spectrum from medical students starting off on their careers to seasoned clinicians in practice and medical school professors.
Read more about the ACP’s commitment to patient-centered care
Several decades ago, I spent 3 months caring for my father before he died at home. For my mother, alluding to the end of my father’s life was difficult. She left his blue blazer hanging on the back of a dining room chair where he had always left it, ready for work the next day. It remained there while he lay in a hospital bed in a room off the kitchen, until one day, a week before he died, the blazer was gone.
Read more about how Healthwise is helping people have "more good days"
“I just found out that I have prostate cancer. I can’t believe it. After meeting with all the doctors, I still don’t know what treatment to have. Too many choices. Too many ‘what ifs.’ I need to figure this out soon …”
Read more about the role of nurse navigators in treatment decisions for prostate cancer
A new study published in the May issue of Health Affairs finds that some patients are concerned about being labeled “difficult” if they ask too many questions or disagree with a recommendation from their physician.
Read more about what may keep patients from engaging in shared decision making
In 2010, Dr. David Ring, a hand surgeon at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), courageously published an article about performing the wrong operation at the wrong site on a patient. The patient was scheduled for a trigger finger release procedure, and instead received a carpal tunnel release. He and his colleagues analyzed the causes of the error and recommended solutions.
Read more about why preference misdiagnosis is a medical error
In a 2012 report for The King’s Fund, Foundation cofounder Al Mulley and colleagues described the problem of misdiagnosis of patients’ preferences. “Preference misdiagnosis” may be the most common form of medical error in health care. It can occur when a person has more than one medically reasonable course of action open to him or her. A clinician, sometimes supported by recommendations from clinical practice guidelines, may prescribe or withhold a treatment based on what the evidence best supports and what he or she thinks the patient would want. However, research shows that among fully informed patients who understand a certain treatment’s possible benefits and risks, some would want that prescribed treatment, and some would not want that treatment prescribed. While there is evidence that preference misdiagnosis occurs, its epidemiology and solutions have not been well described.
Read more about how we hope to study preference misdiagnosis for low bone mass
I first heard about shared decision making when I was applying for my master’s degree in 1998. Annette O’Connor, often considered the “mother” of shared decision making (SDM), was my thesis supervisor for my master’s and my doctoral studies. Nurses are well-positioned on the team to be able to make decisions with patients and to support the patient to engage in shared decision making with other health care professionals. Interestingly though, shared decision making is not taught within basic training programs in nursing. The big question is how do nurses fit?
Read more about the important role nurses can play in shared decision making