My most recent column was published this morning in USA Today: As health reform unfolds, involve the patients.
However, patient input has largely not been sought, and without their acceptance, these reforms are bound to fail:
The success of team-based initiatives, however, will rely on the patients themselves. And here’s the problem: Their input has largely not been sought.
Last year, the American Academy of Family Physicians released results from the first practices that were transformed into the team-based “medical homes.” Despite findings showing better quality of care, patients were unhappy with the change. Physician-columnist Pauline Chen noted in the New York Times that many patients felt “displaced as they saw the old one-to-one doctor-patient interactions replaced with … one-to-four relationships involving not only the doctor but also a whole host of other providers.”
According to Terry McGeeney, a primary care physician who led the medical home project, “The Achilles heel of all of this is a lack of patient understanding and engagement.” Indeed, someone forgot to inform patients how their health care would change.
Enjoy the piece.