The New Language of 21st Century Medical Care
Do you think, as a patient, all the medical terms you need to know is what is a “cholecystectomy”, “CAT scan”, “CVA”, “stenting” and so on. However, as described in an article in the online Bioethics Forum by Carol Levine there is a host of “new language of healthcare" about which patients should be informed and fluent.
What do you call a person admitted to a hospital? If you said “patient,” you’re hopelessly out of date. The person lying there awaiting surgery or recovering from a heart attack is a “consumer.” The person examining the consumer is a “provider.” Depending on the situation, she may be a “hospitalist,” “intensivist,” “proceduralist,” “surgicalist,” or other “ist.” If you’re admitted at night, the provider is a “nocturnist.” Ordinary doctors, who don’t have “ists” after their titles, are seldom seen in hospitals these days.
That’s just one example of how health care language is changing. It’s not enough to know clinical terms; you have to know the lingo of health policy and practice to navigate though the health care system.
This then followed by a test of your HPIQ. You don’t know what is HPIQ? Oh, that’s your Health Policy Information Quotient. Click on the link above and go to the Forum and take the test. If your score shows that you are “health information challenged”, you better get educated since this is now 21th century medical care. ..Maurice.
Addendum 8-4-2008: You may also be interested in reading a thread with comments published in April 2008 about patient translation and understanding of medical words.