Although regulators and payers influence many of the actions surrounding patient care, particularly in the hospital, the unadvertised and underused driving force for positive change comes from these important groups:
These groups are . . .
Their power comes from shared goals. (1)They want to achieve good outcomes from the care that is rendered. (2) They seek to prevent harm and (3) control unnecessary costs that are associated with medical mistakes, such as healthcare acquired infections.
This is called “patient-centric” care. As amazing as it seems, this is not the current culture of care. It is shifting in this direction however. But we need more than a shift in direction. We need a tsunami-sized force from the three groups who will benefit most from real “patient-centric” models of care.
We must develop and support 21st Century Patient thinking in our hospitals and within our communities. Such a philosophy can bring real change in the measurable outcomes of care, and more quickly than regulation and payment incentives.
But it will require all of us to make a big leap in the way we view care. Cost of care has been and will continue to be the most significant driver in how care is provided. The longer it takes to develop the essential skills for 21st Century patient thinking, the more likely we are to experience the limits on care imposed by external groups.
In our next post we will explore this question.
So what does it take to be a 21st Century Patient?
- A Willingness to Learn
- Take an active role in shared decision-making
- Partner with the care team
Lisa Sams MSN, RNC
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