Editorial: Think win-win
By Mari-Len De
There’s a new report from the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) that chiropractors and other health practitioners should find interesting. An independent panel of health experts concluded that a patient-centred approach is needed to treat and monitor people with chronic pain, and that further research is needed on multidisciplinary pain management and the long-term effectiveness and safety of opioids.
Several other similar reports have been coming up more frequently in recent months, with the underlying theme of looking at the long-term effectiveness (or ineffectiveness) of prescription painkillers, and the importance of a comprehensive, multidisciplinary approach to chronic pain intervention.
In fact, this NIH panel was a multidisciplinary group comprising of experts in the fields of gerontology, rheumatology, internal medicine, psychiatry, addiction medicine, nursing, health education, biostatistics and epidemiology.
The key to chronic pain management is patient-centred care – treating the individual and not just the pain. Patient centricity will be key in further harnessing the power of interdisciplinary collaboration.
Many health-care organizations and practitioners have already embraced a multidisciplinary approach to health care, but the NIH panel suggests more needs to be done, particularly in the aspect of pain management to “harmonize pain assessment and treatment guidelines to facilitate consistent clinical care.”
Perhaps, a parallel study should be done on the impact of such a patient-centred and multidisciplinary approach to the health care system. I have a feeling this kind of study will show that more effective and efficient approach to patient care would lead to significant savings and ultimately ease financial pressure on the health care system.
A patient-centred multidisciplinary approach will no doubt result in better, quality health-care for patients, increased collaboration and knowledge exchange among health practitioners, and more efficiency in the public health system. It’s what author and leadership expert Stephen Covey would call a “win-win.”
Speaking of winning, I am happy to announce the winners of the Canadian Chiropractor Inspire Awards. Read all about them on page 24. Congratulations to all the winners and to all those who have been nominated. Thank you for all the work you do for your communities. Nominations for the 2015 Inspire Awards will open in June 2015.