The role of patients and families – Jessie Gruman

The Role of Patients and Families in Avoiding Avoidable Care
Jessie Gruman

The speakers and discussants at this Avoiding Avoidable Care Meeting have not attributed to patients and families a significant role in curbing unecessary care and overtreatment. Thank goodness.

Indeed, we have heard little about “consumers” and “empowered patients,” the benign, egalitarian words that are so often used to disguise shifts onto patients risks and responsibilities that rightfully belong to clinicians and institutions. While some of us will be able to shoulder those new responsibilities, many of us will not. We are sick, we lack the time and resources, the cognitive skills or the confidence to take them on. This means we will be an unreliable force in challenging the status quo in which avoidable care is so common.

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