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August 18th, 2015

“Minimally Disruptive Medicine” Cited Among Best Papers of Past 20 Years

By In the Loop

Dr. Montori is working to improve the patient-physician encounter.  Last month, the British Medical Journal celebrated a milestone 20 years of publishing online — it was the first medical journal to do so — by giving "20 readers and contributors" a chance to pick their favorite articles from the past two decades. Editor Fiona Godlee then did the same. She highlights her "Editor's Choice" selections in her July 9 column. And first on that list is an article co-authored by Mayo Clinic's very own Victor Montori, M.D.

"Victor Montori and colleagues changed how I thought when they introduced me to the idea of minimally disruptive medicine," Godlee writes. The 2009 article titled, appropriately enough, "We need minimally disruptive medicine," argues that "the burden of treatment" placed on patients with "complex, chronic" disease reduces "their capacity to collaborate in their care." The fix, they say, is to make medicine "less disruptive." In other words, create treatment plans designed to minimize the burden of recommendations and improve patients' ability to follow through on those plans.

"Chronic disease is the great epidemic of our times, but the strategies we have developed to manage it have created a growing burden for patients," Dr. Montori writes. That, he says, leads to "poor adherence, wasted resources, and poor outcomes." Dr. Montori and his co-authors instead call for "minimally disruptive medicine" that tailors "treatment regimens to the realities of the daily lives" of patients. "Such an approach," they say, "could greatly improve the care and quality of life for patients."

A story in the Aug. 14, 2015, edition of Inside Mayo Clinic Research says that's the approach you'll find in Mayo's "Knowledge and Evaluation Research Unit." There, "in a small workspace in the Plummer Building," members of the unit led by Dr. Montori are working "tirelessly to improve the patient-physician encounter and promote what they call a 'patient revolution.'" And they're doing that by finding new ways to "shift power" into the hands of "confident and well-informed patients."

Put another way, "they’re trying to make health care easier for patients — less burdensome, less confusing and less time consuming," the story says. And that's an idea that Godlee, for one, seems to support. "Minimally disruptive medicine must be our goal," she writes in closing her column.

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Tags: Dr Victor Montori, Employee Stories, Knowledge and Evaluation Research Unit

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