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General interest items edited by Janice Flahiff

Health Care Consumerism: Patients Still Lack Agency at the Point of Care | Health care and the digital revolution

Health Care Consumerism: Patients Still Lack Agency at the Point of Care | Health care and the digital revolution.

From the 27 January 2013 post at Health care and the digital revolution — A graduate student’s take on health care going digital – Claudia Paz

Something we have been hearing a lot of lately is how this is the moment for the healthcare consumer (see, Bloomberg Review videoMedCity Article, Forbes article on trends to be excited about).  Basically, people are noting that EMR’s and patient portals, the proliferation of health and wellness related mobile apps, and greater transparency across the system, will all lead to a new age of health care where patients have the information and tools to savvily navigate a streamlined healthcare delivery system oiled by customer reviews, online tools, and digital gadgets. Think Yelp and MenuPages meets healthcare.

While all of the trends listed above are exciting leaps forward, not enough attention is being paid to the patient’s needs at the point of care. Research on patient activation andshared or participatory decision making all points to the following:

Empowered patients who actively participate in decisions about their health and treatment options are more likely to be compliant with their medications, make less risky and more cost effective decisions, and are more confident in the management of their health outcomes.

For the purposes of this blog, I am focusing on the concept of a patient as an active participant at the point of care. From my own personal experience, it seems that “doctor knows best” remains the dominant paradigm. Instead of having a conversation about treatment options, the pros and cons of alternatives, variations in costs and side affects, I am more often than not prescribed a medication or treatment option and sent about my day. If I feel like knowing more about the medication (that I have already agreed to take), I usually conduct research after the appointment.

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January 30, 2014 - Posted by | health care | , , , , ,

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