Choosing Wisely Australia: The word on the street
Hello, my name's Julie McCrossin, and I'm here in Martin Place in Sydney as part of the Choosing Wisely Australia campaign to get good conversations between doctors, nurses, all sorts of clinicians, and their patients so we get the right tests, treatment, and procedures, and we don't have unnecessary ones.
Let's hear what people say.
If they were recommending a test or procedure, would you ask them about risk?
Absolutely, just for your own piece of mind. But also what if I don't get it because they're quite invasive as well, so what if you don't get it, what are the complications there so, I'd just be open minded and go in there and get as much information as possible.
I expect the doctor to explain the risk benefit to me of whatever course he's suggesting I take.
I'm Sandra Turner. I'm a radiation oncologist, which is a specialist doctor at Westmead Hospital. When you're trying to give information to a patient, it's really important that you understand how they come to the conversation.
Do you ask many questions?
I do if I feel comfortable with the person.
You gotta ask the basic questions. I possible don't delve deeply into it unless I really have to because I've developed that rapport with the doctor then I'll trust him.
I never really know what kind of questions to ask because when you go there it's like it hurts, it doesn't feel right. Can you tell me what's wrong?
I think the main thing is, as you say, being approachable, using language that a patient understands, being careful to question directly about whether people have any questions and that's really important if you're consenting people to a test or a procedure.
My name's Claire. I’m a hospital pharmacist. So I talk to patients on the wards about the medications and the changes that might be happening when they're in hospital.
What sort of information do you need from patients, and how does it help you make decisions?
Basically what's important to the patient themselves about what they want to know about the medications or what the benefits might be, what side effects in particular they might be concerned about.
It's important that patients understand why a test is being done or why a test is not being done.
If you went to someone and they said look, it's best to do nothing, how do you feel about it, if they say that?
I'm not fazed by that, I mean, I think that there is a bit of a trend of sometimes over-prescribing at times, or the idea that somehow preventative measures might be the best course of action sometimes doing nothing could be the best course.
Well, thanks to everyone who spoke to us today. And for more information, go to the Choosing Wisely Australia website.
5 questions to ask your doctor or other healthcare provider to make sure you end up with the right amount of care.