Patient Centered, Really? Nov 02

rfp · Comments: 0
Professional athletes continually talk about the "fans," it's all about the fans, and when I'm on hold I'm constantly told how important my call is. So is it any surprise healthcare is all about the patient, really. I'm a firm believer in the old, politically incorrect, bumper sticker that so insightfully said, "If mamma ain't happy, ain't nobody happy." READ MORE

Professional athletes continually talk about the "fans," it's all about the fans, and when I'm on hold I'm constantly told how important my call is. So is it any surprise healthcare is all about the patient, really. I'm a firm believer in the old, politically incorrect bumper sticker that so insightfully said, "If mamma ain't happy, ain't nobody happy." That trite statement recognized the hub of the family universe was "mamma," not the children, not pops or any other member - though all of them are important and vital to the mix, not the center.

In medicine, it's popular to be patient centered, and I've never met a physician who didn't strongly, if not vehemently, state that as the case. However, without the physician, and without the physician being able to function at his/her highest levels, being patient centered becomes somewhat meaningless... much like, "Your call is important to us, please remain on hold."

On the other hand, if physicians feel in control of patient care, if physicians know they are supported by their staff, and if physicians believe they are working partnership with their patients for the best possible outcomes, then the patient will believe it's all about them. Then you will have care that is allowed to be patient focused.

Here is a behavioral fact I've tracked for many years. Physician address issues of authority in very diverse ways, just like the public at large. That is, they are like the public at large until they are backed into a corner or placed under stress. Then, physicians will generally leap to the forefront to take charge. Unfortunately, too many physicians feel backed into a corner on a daily basis. They believe their care decisions, their ability to manage their own patients, even their ability to spend time with their patients is determined and monitored by other people or tracked in systems. And they are correct. 

If you want patient centered or patient focused care, then first take care of your physicians by including them in the decision making processes that effect patient care. Then with their involvement, make the environment supportive of their work needs and interests. It's not a monumental effort to work successfully and effectively with your physicians, it's just a different effort - one that realigns inputs and outputs for everyone's benefit. Call me to discuss: 720-339-3585... or tell me about your experiences, both good and less good. 

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