What’s the Problem with the Experience of People at the Center of Care?

Wearing my many hats: e-patient, caregiver, nurse, informaticist, and leader, I am blessed with mostly positive experiences on my health journey.  At worst, my experiences are seriously annoying. This week, attending a benefit for MITSS (Medically Induced Trauma Support Services), I’m reminded that not everyone is so lucky. As I scan the industry several problems with the experience of the people at the center of care (patients, caregivers, clinicians, direct care and support staff) jump out:

  1. Patients and caregivers often feel unwelcome, disrespected and ignored.
  2. All people at the center spend inordinate amount of time double entering, faxing, sending, carrying and calling data to coordinate care.
  3. Patients score “communication about discharge instructions” low on satisfaction surveys.
  4. Technology increases workload and burnout of clinicians rather than making their lives easier.
  5. Clinicians complain about patient adherence to treatment plans.
  6. Clinicians are uncomfortable discussing uncertainty (end-of-life, test results, evidence based practice).
  7. People at the center have innovative solutions, but the healthcare culture can’t take advantage of them.
  8. Clinicians, direct care and support staff don’t trust management.
  9. Driving to increase productivity in health care delivery, patient safety appears to suffer.
  10. Survey scores are high, yet complaints persist.
  11. Mistakes recur. Lessons aren’t learned.
  12. Cross-functional teams created to improve experience languish.
  13. Patients and caregivers shopping for value can’t find out about expected cost or outcome.

Fortunately, many, many people and organizations, like MITSS, have committed their careers and lives to finding solutions. Let’s showcase some in future posts.

Danny

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