Transformative Care Training and Treatments

Author: James R. Fricton

Transformative care is as much about training and treatments as it is about using a team to work with the patients. Most of the pain clinics have followed this protocol very well. But still, there is an overemphasis on passive treatments as the primary care strategy for these patients. In actuality, we would like to transform not just the patient from one of pain and illness to help their well-being, but we want to transform the healthcare system. We all know that risk factors play a significant role in just about all chronic illnesses and particularly chronic pain; so why not train the patient at the same time as you treat the patient. The health professional’s role then becomes one of transformation, one of helping a person really change their entire lives, or whatever factors may be contributing to health and wellness. And this would solve many problems. It’s like the Institute for Healthcare Improvement’s triple aim—reducing the patient’s problem, proving the patient’s experience of care, and reducing the cause of care—can be achieved with a transformative care model. And patients get it. When I tell a patient ‘I’m happy to treat you, but you would have much better success if we also train you to reduce the causes of the pain. In other words, those factors that are causing it to continue over time. Are you interested?’ Most patients say, ‘Yes, of course I’m interested in reducing the causes of pain, and I’m happy to get treatment also.’ Some people say ‘Well, I don’t what the treatment. I just want the training.’ But the problem we have, the barriers in the healthcare system, are high. I may see a patient every 15 minutes or 20 minutes. I don’t have time to train the patient. So we need to use a team. And the team may be a health coach, or maybe a physical therapist, occupational therapist. It may be a health psychologist. There’s a variety of health professionals that really their focus is on training patients on what to do. So it’s a model that I think has been implementing pain clinics. Let’s get it to the entire healthcare system.

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