|If you’ve picked up a medical journal in the last few years, you’ve likely heard about complementary medicine—an increasing number of health care systems in the U.S. are offering such care on site as many more patients have come to request it: It’s estimated that demand for such care has increased 30 percent in the last ten years.In case you’ve skipped the journals, here’s a quick review. According to the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM), a division of the National Institute of Health, to test safety of such treatments, complementary medicine is defined as medicine or treatment that is used together with conventional medical methods. This service line extends but is not limited to prayer, aromatherapy, massage therapy, color therapy, pet therapy, music therapy, yoga, tai chi, acupuncture and herbal remedies and supplements.|
Some organizations have been slow to adopt this type of treatment, mainly because many of the complementary care methods and medicines have not been scientifically studied for effectiveness and in some cases, safety. Some complementary care efforts, like prayer, are extremely difficult to even attempt to study. Even still, the U.S. government has spent more than $22 million to help nursing and medical schools begin to teach about complementary treatments and medicines along with a traditional curriculum. The demand for these services is growing, which signals a need for health care providers to not just offer such services, but to speak about them knowledgeably in order to answer patient questions and concerns.
If your health care organization offers, supports, or is knowledgeable of complementary care, here are a few tips for ensuring successful integration and promotion:
Complementary care is in demand. In knowing what it is, what is safe and what is available to patients, not only are you ensuring their safety, but your organization might very well be positioned as a leaders in providing the latest in care options.
“The Increasing Demand of Complementary Therapists in Manchester!” ArticlesBase.com. Web. 29 June 2010.
“What Is CAM? [NCCAM CAM Basics].” National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine [NCCAM] – Nccam.nih.gov Home Page. Web. 30 June 2010.
“Demand Fuels Alternative Medicine Classes – CBS News.” Breaking News Headlines: Business, Entertainment & World News – CBS News. Web. 30 June 2010.
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