As a doctor just getting ready to begin offering PRP therapy, you have undergone training from the Advanced Regenerative Medicine Institute. You have bought your centrifuge and PRP kits from Apex Biologix, a reputable name in the regenerative medicine industry. You have even implemented some aggressive marketing efforts to let the local community know about your new services. What’s left?
Before you see that first PRP patient, you need to be prepared to explain the therapy in a way that patients can understand. A lack of appropriate explanations is one of the biggest hindrances to modern medical care. When patients do not understand what’s going on, they aren’t able to make informed decisions about their own care.
PRP therapy is a revolutionary kind of therapy for treating orthopedic issues, sports injuries, and the like. But if patients are to make the best use of it, they have to understand it. Below is a basic guide offering suggestions as to how you can explain PRP therapy to new patients.
Follow the Plain English Rule
A number of years ago, the UK government implemented what is known as the Plain English rule. This rule stipulated that all government documents were to be rewritten using words, phrases, and terms that could be understood by the average citizen. The goal was to make government documents more usable to more people.
Doctors would do well to follow the UK example. There’s no point in using complicated medical terms with patients who have never been to medical school. Speak in terms they understand. Avoid clinical terminology, long-winded explanations, and medical speak.
Be Honest and Open
Next, be honest and open about the efficacy of PRP therapy. Patients need to know up front that the therapy is not a miracle cure for everything that ails them. They need to know that some people respond well to it while others do not.
Openness and honesty extend to discussions of how the procedure actually works. By comparison, PRP therapy is minimally invasive and relatively safe. But there are patients who cringe at the thought of needles. They need to know that needles will be used both to extract blood and inject the PRP material.
Explain the Mechanics of the Procedure
Next, it is helpful to explain the mechanics of PRP therapy. Although science does not fully understand the mechanism behind how the injections work, we at least have a good understanding of blood platelets and growth factors. We know enough to explain how those platelets and growth factors can contribute to healing.
This sort of explanation is something that is sorely lacking in modern medicine. Doctors prefer that their patients simply accept what they say as gospel without explaining how a proposed treatment should help. This leaves patients wondering whether they are doing the right thing or not.
Explain the Alternatives
Lastly, it’s always a good idea to explain the alternatives alongside PRP therapy. You want patients to make an informed decision, right? Such a decision is impossible if the patient doesn’t know all the options on the table.
When you compare PRP therapy to steroid injections, talk about the pros and cons of each. If surgery is another option, talk about the potential complications of both surgery and PRP therapy. The goal is to create a level playing field on which to present all the treatment options. Only then can patients truly make informed decisions.
How you explain PRP therapy to patients will go a long way toward determining how successful this portion of your practice is. So make the effort to do it right.