Companies engaged in Ayurveda based healthcare services need to be conscious of the expectations of outcomes that they set with their consumers/customers/patients.
This becomes particularly critical:
- When one is treating a complex of multiple conditions,
- When one is treating it at the cause level as much as the symptom level,
- When the consumer often comes to Ayurveda when all other options are exhausted and the disease is mature, chronic, severe, and modified by earlier treatments
- When there are different persons involved in expectation setting – the doctor, nurses (inadvertently), and administrative staff
At AyurVAID we try to address this by insisting on the primary physician clearly stating in the Medical Management Plan the intended ‘Treatment Objectives’ – what condition(s) is being focused upon and what level of outcome is being targeted. The patient’s informed consent is obtained before commencement of the treatment. Safety guidelines and the treatment plan (what, why, when, who) also form part of the informed consent. A formal record of this nature ensures that verbal commitments from any quarter/person are superseded.
At AyurVAID we also ensure that the primary physician before accepting a patient for treatment consciously assesses whether the disease/condition falls within the scope of Ayurveda to treat. The cardinal principles being: ‘if you cannot do good, must do no harm’ and ‘promise only what you can deliver, and deliver on promise’. Of course, this in most cases involves some degree of subjectivity and physician’s intuition. Consumers also understand that and can discern sincere intent.
Setting clear expectations of outcomes.
This case in the local consumer court in Bangalore is illustrative of how newfangled treatments are dangled before desperate consumers. Even more than the financial impact on consumers AyurVAID is concerned about the safety and health impact-short term and long term-of treatments, for beauty, for positive
health, or for disease cure.
Such cases remind us of our responsibility and duty in upholding trust with our consumers.