Medical Minute: Good Health Care

Research shows good doctor and patient communication is a vital part of getting good healthcare, but research shows that's still not happening.

Are you happy with your medical care? A recent study shows 58 percent of patients are not; one reason, lack of communication.

"I think patients assume that their physicians and nurses know best, and they're fearful of offending them if they ask them a question," says Dr. Sanjay Saint.

Dr. Sanjay saint studies infections acquired in hospitals. He says asking if your doctor's hands are washed is a valid question, and inquiries about medication are crucial.

"Ask, 'What's it for, and do I really need it?' If a patient is either unwilling or unable to do that, that would be an appropriate role for a family member."

A role not appropriate for a relative is translation or interpretation. Language and culture can be the difference between better care or none at all.

Dr. Sunita Mutha developed a curriculum for healthcare professionals to be more aware of culture in healthcare. She says tell your doctor what you believe is causing your illness and inform them of your cultural health beliefs.

"If they're using herbal medications. If they believe that something else is going to be helpful to them like a traditional healer or a shaman."

Next time you visit the doctor, prescribe yourself active part in your care.

For more information, contact:

Indria Cooper

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