Patients, advocates, and families can be champions of the Less is More model. Health literacy, an interest in what makes us well and unwell, and the ability to ask the right questions can make all the difference.

Many people feel they are being overtested and overtreated, and worry about the potential for associated side effects or risks. Others feel like there are gaps in care or answers they are not getting. However, in both cases patients often don't know what questions to ask or believe it is wrong to challenge their healthcare provider. They also don't always know how to express their goals or explain what aspects of living are most important to them.

  • Learn about research and systematic reviews, how to interpret medical evidence 
  • Develop an Advance Directive so that your goals for living (and dying) are known
    • Try these sites for guidance and templates, or POLST (a bit more complicated to navigate, but better if you are detail-oriented)
    • Talk to your family about your wishes, so that they will be able to make decisions in keeping with your wishes, in case there's a time when you are unable to express them yourself
    • Give a copy of your Advance Care Plan aka Advanced Directive to your primary care provider
  • Count the number of medications you are on and consider asking your health provider to help you "de-prescribe"
    • Watch this video on de-prescribing to learn more about why and how medications can be stopped




What do you think patients and their advocates can do differently? E-mail your thoughts or tweet them to @LessIsMoreMed