Patient-Centered Care? Or Not?

The term “patient-centered care” has increasingly been used to describe healthcare structures that deliver better quality care – as well as often doing so with lower costs.  And today there was a news story about how some medical schools are assessing applicants’ interpersonal skills, something that is fundamental for being a patient-centric clinician.

While there are have been numerous articles demonstrating the value of patient-centered care and concluding that it is better and should be promoted – including those looking at the ill named “Patient-Centered Medical Homes” – I’ve found myself pondering the following questions:

“What type of care have clinicians been providing if it hasn’t been patient-centered? Has it been clinician/physician centered? Or revenue centered? Or just intentionally confusing and impersonal care designed to stymie the adoption of evidence based standards of care?”

“And along those lines, is the widespread delivery of non-patient-centered care the reason why the IOM concluded that it takes about 17 years for valuable healthcare information to be adopted into clinical practice? Or why Atul Gawande found that hospitals in other countries have widely adopted surgical checklists to reduce medical errors and adverse outcomes, while only 25% of US hospitals are using these checklists?”

I’m just asking….

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