Sunday, January 18, 2015

Healthcare Odyssey - A Patient's Perspective

What is it the makes the current health care system so challenging for people these days?  I believe it truly boils down to one phrase, "I know how you feel".  Here are 4 ways that people struggle with a health system that isn't listening to what their consumers are saying.

1).  Care is directed - How many times have you been asked by medical professionals what you want for yourself?  Does that occur when you go to purchase a new car?  The first hurdle faced as a medical consumer is that care is not a collaborative process, but a directed issue that uses consents to give the impression that it was a joint venture.

2).  Lack of knowing - How much do they know about you and your family?  Is there an effort to understand the support system you have or the factors that will influence recovery?  There seems to be a disconnect in the desire to know the customer's needs.  Not surprising why continual readmissions to hospitals occur.

3).  You need me mentality - Does it ever seem like the medical care you receive is provided like it is a privilege rather than a right?  How many other businesses treat you that way as a paying customer?  None I would guess because you would no longer be frequenting their establishment.  This prevailing attitude that you need us may change with the new pay for performance model, and give power back to the consumer.

4).  It's your problem - I think the fundamental issue facing a patient today is the pure lack of empathy and compassion at times.  Much like the staff that walk into a room after a patient and family have received bad news, and say "how are you doing?".  By not being able to readily show concern and empathy it's like they are saying, "it's your problem" which results in a lack of coordination and disease management for the patient and family.

Until the health system can began caring for their populations like they would care for a loved one, consumers will be battling a system where care is directed and not collaborative.  It would be amazing to see what would occur if the providers and decision makers had to wear the hospital gown for a week.  I'm sure the personal experience may create some enlightenment and drive quality changes.  Thank you for listening.  Dave.

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Thanks for visiting. I would love to hear your thoughts. Take care, Dave.