When we fail to establish successful health-centered, and collaborative working relationships with our patients, the default relationship is always self-serving, in the sense that we are both working off of assumptions rather than a calibrated and shared view of a situation.
And functioning off of assumptions means that instead of understanding the other person’s perspective, values, feelings, priorities, and current circumstances, we insert our own perspective, values, feelings, and priorities.
In other words, we insert our biases to support our intentions and agendas, while the patient commonly does the same thing.
To quote the Captain in the legendary film Cool Hand Luke, “What we have here is a failure to communicate.”
And when the quality of communication is low, and the subsequent thinking is fogged by -often distorted- personal agendas, decisions typically revolve around the lowest commonly understood denominators.
Like insurance coverage.
And not about quality.
And not about health.
And not about negative trends clearly impacting health.
So that is how we get to the discussion place of, “Does my insurance cover this?”; instead of, “I understand- can you help me find a way that I can afford to do this? It’s important to me.”
And that is how many decisions are made which are not in a patient’s long-term best interest.
“Yes ma’am, you have fender coverage for your car – would you like us to fix it for you?”
Paul A Henny, DDS
Thought Experiments LLC, ©2017
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