Since 2001 when the Institutes of Medicine published a report called Crossing the Quality Chasm: A New Health System for the 21st Century, patient-centered care has been promoted as the way to improve the quality of healthcare in the US.
Responses to the IOM report include NCI’s published Patient-Centered Communication In Cancer Care in 2007 and Congress’ establishment in 2010, of the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI).
With this goal firmly ensconced by the government, healthcare companies and organizations are working to catch up.
Becoming patient-centered is an enormous change in healthcare. It means changing the culture of medicine in a way that supports the people who work to care for us. Complicated and challenging, patient-centered healthcare requires changes in patients as well as those working in the medical system. To find out where readers stand in personal and caregiver advocacy and their experiences in those efforts, we are continuing our series of posts on this subject. The series began with the post Not My Problem Healthcare followed by How Do I Advocate for Myself. We are interested in finding out what is happening to you today in shared decision-making and patient-centered healthcare.
To move our discussion forward, we are presenting a case study.
Case Study: Arthur, a 58-year-old man goes to his doctor with these symptoms:
· Swelling ankles and legs
· Severe fatigue and weakness
· Shortness of breath
· An enlarged tongue
· Easy bruising
· Purple patches around the eyes
· Difficulty swallowing
After several appointments and lab tests, Arthur is told that he has a rare disease: Amyloidosis. His kidneys are in failure and he needs a transplant. His doctor refers him to local specialists. But Arthur goes online and learns that the best specialists are located at a large medical center several states away.
What should Arthur do?
The above scenario is not unusual. In fact, this is a true story though the names and disease have been changed to protect the patient. In our next post, we will share the basics of what happened to this patient.
Have Your Say!
But before that, we would like your feedback and answers to questions about shared decision-making and patient-centered healthcare, taken from a journal article published in Health Affairs. In addition to finishing Arthur’s story, our next post will share the feedback you provided as well.