Realistic Medicine is not about failing to offer treatments. It is about supporting people using healthcare services, and their families, to feel empowered to discuss their treatment. That’s why changing our style to sharing decisions with our patients is one of our priorities. A move away from the "Doctor knows best" approach to shared decision making between the professional and patient will require more meaningful discussions about the treatment options available as well as their risks and benefits.
Building a more personalised approach to care, in partnership with people through shared decision making, is perhaps the most important aim of Realistic Medicine. We must create a more open and trusting atmosphere that facilitates more meaningful conversations between people and their healthcare professionals that help people make informed choices about their treatment and care options, based on what matters most to them.
Healthcare professionals are the stewards of healthcare resources. We know that overuse of investigation and treatment can result in harm to patients. By seeking out and eliminating harm and waste, we can provide healthcare that people really value.
Tackling unwarranted variation is essential to improving outcomes derived from healthcare across Scotland. Unwarranted variation is variation in healthcare that cannot be explained by need, or by explicit patient or population preferences. We need to ensure the prevention of harm and waste from overuse and overtreatment, freeing up resources currently used without benefit to clinical outcomes in order to address under-provision of care.
Realistic Medicine is not about failing to offer treatments. It is about supporting people using healthcare services, and their families, to feel empowered to discuss their treatment.
To practise Realistic Medicine, we must embrace the best international evidence, employ sound clinical judgment and support empowerment by listening to what matters most to patients. We need to make more effective use of knowledge and skills across the multi-professional knowledge base, and foster the conditions to support innovation in care delivery.
November 10, 2019
The Care Home Continence Improvement Project Applying the principles of Realistic Medicine at NSS – continence care case study The Care Home Continence Improvement project, developed by NHS National Procurement, part of NHS National Services Scotland, is a great example of a project which used the principles of Realistic Medicine to improve outcomes for not…Read more
September 30, 2019
“Realistic Medicine” has prompted and supported changes to the way NHS Orkney deliver maternity care for women with diabetes in a remote setting. The aim is to provide as much care locally as is safely possible, reducing unnecessary and costly travel and disruption for women and families and avoiding taking up unnecessary appointment times at…Read more
September 30, 2019
Value Improvement Fund The second round of the Value Improvement Fund resulting in the funding of 10 bids. The successful applications can be found here: Value Improvment Fund – 2019-20 and 2020-21 – Successful Projects Value Improvement Fund – NHS Lanarkshire – The use of 5 Questions healthcare education within a seconday school in North…Read more