Makes a lot of sense, right? Patient-centered care vs. institutionalized care. Health-care vs. disease-care.
For some, that means having online access to their physician’s notes. According to the findings of a recent study, many have said this simple upgrade has helped them “feel a sense of control over their care.” One-third of patients surveyed said they thought they should have the ability to approve their physician’s notes. With this increased accountability, many of the physicians (36% who took part in the survey) even adjusted the language of their notes to “avoid upsetting their patients.”
Doctors are also seeing the need to go where there patients are: online. A study that surveyed 485 practicing oncologists and primary care physicians found that “61% of respondents said that they used social media at least once weekly to scan or explore health information.” Matt Handley, a family doctor and medical director in Seattle, believes in the power of social media to connect with patients. He says, “The more you understand and know about a patient, the more you can understand what matters for them.”
What matters for many people are resources other than simply their doctor’s office for maintaining their health, such as CAM therapies or integrative medicine. And that’s a good thing given the ever-rising cost of healthcare and the fact that over-diagnosis and over-treatment are leading concerns among both doctors and patients. Some are looking no farther than their local church to bring a whole new perspective to their health needs.
Jordan Ruschill, First United Methodist’s director of health and wellness ministries says she’s surprised this is new: “You’d think people would have put spiritual wellness along with physical wellness a long time ago” (Combining physical with spiritual: Church ministries aim to provide for health needs on two levels).
Yes, you would. Church is a rich resource in the community for fellowship, friendship, support, compassion, and yes–health and healing. This association isn’t new for Christian Science churches around the globe. In fact, health is in the title of the textbook used in all of its services. Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, written by church founder Mary Baker Eddy, has given meaning and healing to countless lives.
Reading this book and hearing from a fellow church member was instrumental in Brooks Rakos’ life when he was healed of a fracture in his spine after a car accident. He didn’t need to take the bottle of strong pain killers prescribed by a neurosurgeon. And when a follow-up bone scan showed no fracture, the doctor said “it was an anomaly, something that medical science cannot always explain.”
The connection between one’s consciousness and physical health is something the world is waking up to. Let’s all reap the benefit.