We are fortunate to live in the age of integrative medicine, a time when public health can really improve because we recognize mental wellness as the precursor to total health. If addiction or mental illness are addressed, the whole person can thrive because feedback from all systems is heard and felt. Not to mention, the treated and cared for person is more likely to take consistent action on the feedback received. Regardless of healthcare discipline, the same ingredients are required in all areas of specialties. I want to highlight a few parts that can get lost.
1. Screening and Assessment
The best way to deliver these healthcare bare essentials is through Gracious Redundancy™. Patients see providers to create change. But, learning to tolerate it is an entirely different story. A hypertensive patient who is told to get more sleep, eat less salt + sugar, cut out all saturated fat and exercise 4x / week may not be turning cartwheels when the doctor provides the treatment plan. Gracious Redundancy™ is the empathetic delivery of education and encouragement to help patients reach their goals. Change always threatens something. Unfamiliar turns into intolerable in treatment plan.
Screening and assessment give the patient and the provider a good look at the initial measurements, the starting place. Although some of this is subjective, based on the provider or patient’s opinion, the key is to collect the data. In mental health services, providers might feel a sense of urgency which not only feeds the patient’s sense of insufficiency or scarcity, but it colors the facts. Patient care in 2019 can be intentional and thorough. We are not operating on a deficit of information or innovation. Communicating the data with education and encouraging reduces overdose, prevents suicide and allows room for a sense of social belonging.
We all tend to perform to expectations. People who are not expected to perform well rarely do, while those who are encouraged with kindness and love to do so are often the best examples of what they are able to accomplish. People who have struggled for a long time with mental illness or addiction often find themselves isolated, scared, anxious, and depressed. Often there is little expected of them and so they begin to expect little from themselves. At Pacific Solstice and D’Amore Healthcare, patients are treated with love and understanding to help them learn they are worth the effort. Gracious Redundancy™ in screening and assessment blends education and encouragement so the patient not only sees their options, but can feel the freedom to choose. Innovative, warm helping professionals establish the patient as the pilot, taking a seat right next to them, as copilot. Healing multiplies when someone feels included and empowered. In this space, total health is not only likely, but it’s on a consistent schedule!
The idea of time in healthcare leads to contentious debates. Providers have been trained to close in on diagnoses and treatment at lightning speed. Patients not only feel the whirlwind, but resent it. Patients know it takes time to review their history and to take a series of steps in whole person repair. The distinction of illness or specialty is irrelevant, considering the patient is reluctant to share everything and slow to trust a protracted healing, preferring immediate relief. Rapport and warmth pave the way to effective care. Gracious Redundancy™ helps patients tolerate their vulnerable position. Human dignity points to integrated care which points to open ended questions, discussion and measurable, realistic goals.
When a patient’s needs are addressed with equanimity and kindness, even if they have to be reiterated multiple times, this demonstrates to the patient that they are worthy of that effort. D’Amore Healthcare and Pacific Solstice will not contribute to the shame narrative the patient has created for themselves because their needs feel so big and the timeline so long. Respect of the patients time and story is central to every decision our providers make in partnership with the patients. The environment of love and respect patients find sparks their engagement and ownership.
Time invested to listen and to explore is more often reimbursed in a private pay setting than in managed care. This is why Pacific Solstice and D’Amore Healthcare are working harder than ever to give patients more. Patients feel confused and weary. Our call to be prepared with positive expectancy and arms outstretched punctuate the patient experience. More time with the doctor. More evidence based personal care. More Gracious Redundancy™. Our patients feel the difference, as we lean on each other more. Their important role as the pilot comes up many times an hour in our intensive care settings. In a time when healthcare providers feel like they must give less in order to make ends meet, we’re calling on our healthcare comrades to copilot the patient. This requires a lot more listening – and not just to patients, but to each other, as professionals. Patient dignity is revealed to them as they feel safer to take the mask off and dive into their best life. More screening + assessments, more options, more time. In our opinion, mental healthcare is center stage and the call on our professional and unconditional positive regard for patients is more important than ever. Scarcity will not win the day, better outcomes win today.