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The advances in healthcare technology over the past 25 years has brought us to a point which is changing how we will deliver care into the future. With the advent of Artificial Intelligence software capable of reading diagnostic imaging, telemedicine via a smart-app on your phone, to the editing of the human genome for the treatment or prevention of advanced disease, healthcare now more than ever seems to have become more detached from the hands on patient interaction.
Opposite the technology, we have the contributions that our Healthcare Organizations have made to the advancement of medicine and quality of care over the same time period. Most of this focus has been directed toward “Quality of Care” initiatives via the “Patient Experience” and “Patient Satisfaction” route, with an overall Patient Centered Care Philosophy. These contributions can be seen as more patient or consumer driven, identifiably measurable, and also comparable amongst other institutions.
Healthcare has always been about the patient; we can’t argue that fact. Without the patient none of us would be here today in the professions we serve in. The question, we need to focus in on is how the dynamics of the other “P’s” in healthcare have used the patient as a platform for their own means or agenda, detracting from true Improvements in Medical Quality of Care. It isn’t necessary to look very far for affirmation of this fact. The Political battle for a New Health Care Plan Solution; Pharmaceutical Companies releasing orphan drugs at 5000% price increases; Competing Healthcare Organizations opening Free-Standing ER’s a mile apart from one another. Healthcare is an industry giant, serving a very specific population or customer segment, but carries the weight of the “800lb gorilla” when it comes to both social and political impact.
Healthcare, It’s All About the “P” is meant to truly turn the focus back on the patient within the healthcare environment, while truly acknowledging that we live in a sector with many external influencers impacting the patient on a daily basis. As Healthcare providers we have become the victims of these external influencers to the extent that our own patients find it difficult to understand if they have encountered a quality patient experience/satisfaction versus a medical quality of care experience, two very distinct outcomes. As to not to fully place the blame externally, as healthcare providers, we have become to believe that these point in time, subjective patient surveys, whatever form or fashion they come in, tell the true story of the patient, whether it be good or bad.