We asked a panel of experts to weigh in on the topic of patient-centered care at a conference this month at the Catholic Health Association.
This panel, which included experts from hospitals, health systems and the American College of Physicians, came to different conclusions on how best to care for patients and patients’ families.
While the AMA did not recommend a specific approach, it did recommend that the organization work with patients to establish an informed consent process and develop a policy on what is a valid clinical decision.
Acknowledging the differing views, the AMA called for a broad consensus on what constitutes a valid therapeutic decision.
The panel also addressed the question of whether there should be a federal policy for patient-centric care.
The group noted that the U.S. has no national system for patient care, so it is not clear what would happen if a state adopted such a system.
The AMA, in fact, supports a national policy, but the AMA believes that states should be able to choose their own approach to patient care.
While many doctors, including those in the AMA, are already working with hospitals to help patients understand the potential risks and benefits of medical interventions, they may also need to work with other health care providers to understand the best way to handle a patient’s case.
That could involve a physician working with a mental health provider to determine what is in the best interests of the patient.
In the end, the panel suggested that the AMA encourage the formation of patient advocacy groups to provide an “inclusive platform” for the profession to reach out to patients and discuss their needs.
They also suggested that doctors work with mental health providers to create a better understanding of the risks of the interventions and how to manage them appropriately.
As for what would constitute a valid patient decision, the group recommended that it should be based on the best clinical judgment and based on a full and thorough understanding of patient needs.
The next step for the AMA is to develop an integrated policy on patient-focused care.
That is something that has been the goal of the organization since the 1980s, said Dr. Charles P. Rinaldi, an associate professor of psychiatry at the University of Michigan.
Currently, the organization has a website with patient advocates and a website for medical students.
“We want to be the voice for our members in the medical community,” Dr. Rialdi said.
For more on the AMA: http://www.amz.org/aboutus/about/health-care/medical-and-dental-professionals/medical/professional-community/