HCA Midwest Health - November 02, 2017

Why do doctors always use medical terms me and my family can’t understand?

It’s easy to quickly feel confused when you’re dealing with a medical issue. It’s often scary, and all you want is for the medical professionals to offer a solution. But, once they start talking, the amount of information they’re sharing with you can be overwhelming, as can the terms and the names of exotic-sounding medications and treatments. These are all terms that physicians use every day, even though you may never have heard any of them before. This is something medical professionals sometimes forget.

That’s why, at HCA Midwest Health hospitals and practices, we encourage our doctors to practice what we call the “teach back” method. Instead of telling you about your health situation and your most effective treatment plan and simply assuming you understand, your physician will instead ask you to explain, in your own words, your understanding of everything you were just told. This allows both of you to be certain you understand everything about your own health and your own treatment.

We even survey each of our patients after treatment to make sure they are satisfied, are healing and completely understood everything they were told by the members of their medical teams. This allows HCA Midwest Health to quickly make corrections if any doctors or clinicians aren’t communicating effectively. And that’s important. After all, when you’re sick, you are the most important factor in your own healing. You should understand everything.