Physicians Urged To Tell Patients: ‘Change Behavior’

Some leaders in health care say measurable improvements in public health could occur if physicians would use their bully pulpit a bit more.

The Washington-based Center for the Advancement of Health released a report, supported by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, suggesting that if physicians and other health care professionals took just a little time in every office visit to counsel patients about risk reduction, disease management, or pharmacy compliance, screening rates would go up, more people would attempt to change health habits, and outcomes would improve. Interviewers found that clinicians do not demand tools and reimbursement for counseling because they’re not persuaded of its benefits, and that many doctors feel “untrained and unable” to counsel patients about health behaviors because of time and financial pressures.

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