“A best practice is a method or technique that has been generally accepted as superior to any alternatives because it produces results that are superior to those achieved by other means or because it has become a standard way of doing things, e.g., a standard way of complying with legal or ethical requirements.” Wikipedia
Dr. Andrew Arnold says, ‘According to the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency, the current best evidence is up-to-date information from relevant, valid research about the effects of different forms of health care.’
There is a wide range of evidence relating to most allied health modalities. This evidence includes randomized controlled trials, non-randomized controlled studies, descriptive studies, qualitative research, and others. Not all evidence is equally convincing. Some types of evidence are considered more reliable than others. There is a hierarchy of evidence that rates different types of evidence for reliability.
The current consensus is a ‘patient centre’ management model is ‘best practice’.
This is where the patient is provided with all the necessary information to make a well-informed consensual decision about their treatment. This includes both cost and anticipated duration of treatment.
The end game is to help our patients actively participate in their own health management plan where the practitioner(s) become part of the patient’s model as opposed to the start position where the practitioner is directing the process.
The patient is presented with a range of choices which may or may not be available in your practice. This encourages the patient to plan their health management.
The initial practitioner may assist in the planning by providing balanced, ethical, unbiased information and referral options with the patient’s end goal always paramount.
Ultimately patients move towards a preventative, inter-disciplinary way of thinking rather than pain motivated.
The hope is the patient-centered, preventative, educational message will spread to the wider community by way of networking, word of mouth, social media, blogging etc. thereby raising the collective consciousness not only within the practice community but the local demographics as well.
About the Author:
Dr. Andrew Arnold is the Principal Chiropractor and owner, Cranbourne Family Chiropractic and Wellness Centre, married to Dr. Linda Wilson, the Stress Specialist and has two children, Isaac and Bella. He lives in Melbourne, Australia.