The Executive Desk: Patients Need to Stay Updated, Too

Hal C. Lawrence III, MD, Executive Vice President and CEO

Good medical care begins with informed patients. Whether treating adolescents, older women, or anything in between, we need to make sure all women are equipped with the information they need to make healthy choices.

In his blog post Building Strong Patient Relationships Begins in Adolescence, ACOG President Haywood L. Brown, MD, focuses on the importance of caring for patients in their early teens. He says it’s a good opportunity to establish a relationship of trust and ensure young women are empowered with knowledge about their reproductive health. The knowledge women receive in these early visits can help inform decisions they make at every stage of life—from becoming sexually active to planning when and if to have a baby.

Similarly, our pregnant patients need information to make smart choices and protect their babies. For example, did you know that congenital syphilis (CS) cases in the United States increased 46 percent between 2012 and 2015? Your help with patient education can bring this number down. Learn more and access CS-related educational materials—including an infographic and webpages in both English and Spanish in the article Now Available! Patient-focused Congenital Syphilis Information.

Ob-gyns also play an integral role in the vaccination of adolescent and adult women. Make sure to tune into the upcoming free ACOG Webinar: Best Practices to Improve Maternal Immunization. You can also share ACOG’s Patient Education Tip of Month: Flu Vaccine and Pregnancy with your pregnant patients.

But what happens when those seeking important information about their health aren’t asking during a traditional office visit—and aren’t your patients at all? Read this month’s useful article 3 Rules for Treating Friends and Family. I trust you’ll find these scenarios all too familiar.

Merely providing our patients with information isn’t enough. The provider-patient relationship is one of the most important factors in positive patient health outcomes and overall quality of life. That is why community-based projects like Community Partnerships for Healthy Mothers and Children Project (CPHMC) are integral to connecting health care providers with their patients and the community they serve. Learn more about this project in the article Community-Based Health: Strengthening Provider Relationships Through Community Coalitions.

I’d also like to take some time to address new and exciting ways we are working to improve your continuing education as medical professionals. Read about new article types, ways to earn CME credits, and more in What’s New in the Green Journal? And, as always, remember to read through our July/August Practice Updates.

Finally, I’d also like urge you to recognize colleagues who have made an impact in our profession. Learn more in Nominate Your Colleagues for Recognition Through ACOG Awards.

Enjoy this issue of ACOG Rounds.


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