Little Lies Cause Huge Consequences
Every day, patients come and go through the doors of hospitals where they can find hope for treatment, healing, and gentle care from the physicians. What is impressive about hospitals in America today is the advance technologies, enabling doctors to do intensive research, use high-tech equipment, and provide effective diagnosis for patients.
Ideally, patients would enter the hospital or doctor’s office and describe exactly how they feel and answer the doctor’s questions truthfully so it can be easier for the doctors to figure out the problem and make the right decisions. However, the process typically is more complicated than that. Why? Because patients lie.
According to a survey, 77% of healthcare professions say that “one-fourth or more of their patients omit facts or lie to them about their personal health.” Consequently, this misleads the doctors, making it difficult for him or her to find out the true problem, go through unnecessary procedures, and even prescribe the wrong medication to patients.
In William Morgan’s article, “Why Do Patients Lie to Their Doctors,” one of the reasons why patients tend to lie is because they care about how they will be perceived by the doctors. For instance, when a doctors ill ask about the consumption of alcohol, some patients will lie in the amount so they wouldn’t feel judged. Clearly, people are unaware of the power they wield in helping the doctors diagnose them and it is their fault if the doctors could not perform to his or her best ability.
However, should doctors hold responsibility for this problem also? Incidents where white lies of the patients cause confusion and major complications in the procedures have been so common and happens to so many healthcare professionals that they could have at least figure out a way to avoid making those mistakes over and over again. There is a clear problem where patients are not comfortable enough to tell the truth, why not address that problem? Patients shouldn’t take up all of the blame if they are uncomfortable and unaware of how important their input is. Therefore, it should be the doctor’s responsibility to make patients feel open enough and pull information out of patients to get the most accurate information. In addition, doctors should let it be known to the patients the consequences of not telling the honest truth so that patients can be more careful.
Steps doctors can take to improve the patient’s care is taking the time to develop a friendly, laid back relationship with the patients and establish trust.
Though doctors often do not get honest replies from patients, resulting in unnecessary procedures and mistakes, it is time for doctors to step up and improve their performance by working harder to form an honest partnership with patients.
Jones, Val, Dr. “Better Health: Smart Health Commentary Featured.” Better Health RSS2. Better Health, 30 Mar. 2015. Web. 19 Nov. 2015.
“More than One in Four Patients Lie to the Doctor.” More than One in Four Patients Lie to the Doctor. The Advisory Board Company, 19 Feb. 2013. Web. 19 Nov. 2015.
Morgan, William. “Why Do Patients Lie to Their Doctors?” ACA –. ACA News., May 2012. Web. 19 Nov. 2015
Schwartz, Shelly K. “When Patients Lie to You.” Roswell Park Cancer Institute. UBM Medica, 2010. Web. 19 Nov. 2015.