Infections, medication errors, and hospital readmission are all topics in the lay press that raise everyone’s concerns. But what is a person to do when they are admitted or have a loved one in the hospital? This is a very important question and the answers are illusive despite the mounds of articles, press releases, and gazillions megabits of political rhetoric. As an industry, healthcare has done a good job identifying many of its problems and as a result there are plenty of businesses circling the scarred, and even bleeding, hospitals promising to heal those wounds. Clinicians, … [Read more...]
Is Hospital Care Patient-Centered?
Why this question matters to all of us! There is so much political babble surrounding healthcare that we have lost the ability to focus on the core business. The patient is the center of our work but we are in danger of the core business being overrun by competing and confounding factors. Soon it will be 2013 and many aspects of healthcare change will become more apparent, and this is only the beginning. So how do we cope with constant change? We must accept the essential need for people who seek care to become 21st Century Patients. No longer can one depend on simply following … [Read more...]
Patients Have a Voice: Did You Notice on October 1st?
If you listened to the Monday morning news with your coffee, the “dry” story about Medicare’s new payment structure to hospitals may have slipped by you, especially if are not “in the industry” or do not have Medicare insurance. But this is a significant story, particularly when we consider the importance of taking an active role in understanding our healthcare. Effective October 1st hospitals will be rewarded in dollars… or NOT… according to the outcome measures for 12 specific patient problems such as heart attacks, pneumonia and the use of antibiotics. The measures are designed to see … [Read more...]
Influencing Change in Today’s Hospital Care
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 . . . Patients & Families Clinicians Employers 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. … [Read more...]
The 21st Century Patient
Welcome to my blog: 21st Century Patients. I hope to provoke critical thinking, and some discussion, on what it means to be a patient today. The culture of patient care is changing from “follow the rules as we prescribe them” to one that reflects the rapid pace of increasing knowledge that demands we think and act as partners with patients and families. This partnership is the basis of shared decision-making for the patient’s plan of care. An Outdated Approach We will explore the implications (and dangers) of holding on to the outdated idea that a “good patient” takes everything at … [Read more...]