Experienced doctors 'absorb' information to form diagnostic and other subjective impressions of the patient’s options. These impressions are then used to make decisions with patients or if they prefer, on their behalf.
For explanations tap on: 'More questions’
Before trying to understand or share decisions, giving informed consent or to follow the reasoning in medical records, you need to answer three questions first:
1. What's the agreed plan so far (e.g. a list of the decisions & actions already in train)?
2. For each item (e.g. a medication) in the plan, what is the most probable diagnosis?
3. For each diagnosis, and for marking its progress, which symptoms, examination findings, test results, aims and personal preferences were and are being used?
Without this basic information, you will not be able to progress to understanding a record and you will not be able to explain things clearly to others to allow continuity of care.
Any health professional involved in the care should know the answers (but first tap here).
You can write out the answers as shown in 'next steps' here =>'.
To look up terms in NHS Choices, tap here.
© Huw Llewelyn 2016