Patient Centered Care? Feeling sick…
There is a general movement towards patient centred care. You see the NHS talking about it in the UK. You hear it in the healthcare debate in the USA. It seems we have turned the tide and most people involved in healthcare conceptually agree that patient centered care not only provides better clinical outcomes, it provides better health cost management. At the core, patient centered care puts the patient and their caregivers (i.e., family, close friends) an integral part of the health care team where they collaborate with health care professionals in making their care decisions. It’s a team approach to care where the patient and their caregivers are central players on the team. In order for the patient centred team to function as intended requires that physicians, hospitals, insurers and perhaps even pharmaceutical companies listen to the patient. In this model , healthcare providers are not the boss. They are the coach perhaps, but not the boss. Everyone on the team is a valued member. If they are not, the team does not function and patient centred care becomes an impossibility.
Unfortunately, “feeling valued” is not one of the top emotions evoked by healthcare providers. Beyond Philosophy’s Q1 2010 Customer Experience Tracker asked healthcare consumers to identify the top three emotions evoked when dealing with health care providers. Given all the buzz and work on transforming towards patient centered care over the last decade, we expected to see “feeling valued” among the top 10 emotions. In fact, we were right. However, we learned that more important is the fact that three negative emotions (stressed, irritated, and disappointed) are ahead of valued. Feeling Valued is the only positive emotion in the top ten to be displaced by those negative emotions. This effect remains regardless of whether it’s the health insurer or pharmaceutical and even health care provider or hospital experience.
Not enough is being done in patient centered care to make “feeling valued” come to the fore in the experience. Patient centered care will not be a reality in the minds of healthcare consumer until they feel they are a valued part of the team. Two ideas that would help bridge the gap that currently exists are as follows:
•Health care providers that are concerned with advancing patient cantered care should be asking their customers if they are being made to “feel valued “. This should be a standard question in ongoing customer insight work.
•Carry out specific research to determine what the key drivers of “feeling valued” are. Often times the things that make an experience feel one way or another are subtle, almost invisible to the naked eye. We have found that “felling valued” may be evoked by actions as simple as sitting down to talk versus standing up. There are lots of these subconscious clues in the experience and they can leave the patient with the gut feeling that they are a valued member of their own healthcare team.
Check back on Monday to catch the second half of the post written by Qaalfa Dibeehi & Kalina Janevska
By Qaalfa Dibeehi Kalina Janevska | Published: March 11, 2010