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What Consumer-Driven Healthcare Really Means
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Drew Conry-Murray
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Drew Conry-Murray,
User Rank: Ninja
1/31/2014 | 9:42:49 AM
Start with Real Life
I'm all for more patient-centric care, but I'm not sure how a slick, user-friendly portal is going to make much difference. In my experiences with health care, the most frustrating aspect is the wait time. Whenever I get an appointment, I know to mentally add at least 45 minutes on top of the scheduled time before I see a doctor or nurse practitioner. It's nice if the onboarding process takes 2 minutes instead of 10, but I'm still going to be twiddling my thumbs and leafing through back issues of People for a long time.
David F. Carr
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David F. Carr,
User Rank: Author
1/31/2014 | 9:46:30 AM
Re: Start with Real Life
Right, so what are healthcare organizations doing to eliminate that step where they hand you a blank form asking for your medical history, when that data is all supposed to be recorded in their systems? How do they start putting the patient / customer first, rather than treating people like cattle (if cattle could fill out forms)?

amylc433
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amylc433,
User Rank: Apprentice
2/3/2014 | 10:35:39 AM
Re: Start with Real Life
The idea is to reduce appointments - mitigating this frustration to annual appointments, if possible - hey, once a year isn't bad, right?

For instance, people on certain medications (warfarin) for heart conditions need to go into the doctor's office to monitor their PT/INR levels once every week - sitting in that waiting room for an extra 45 minutes. Diabetics and people with other conditions also find themselves with frequent visits to manage their conditions.

The idea is to give these people devices that they can use in their own homes AND a platform that is as engaging as the iphone to monitor and manage their conditions on. I am NOT describing an app, whatsoever. But like David said in this article, it's about making these tools attractive enough to consumers that they will perceive it as being in their own interest. Coincidentally, convincing these patients to get on board and engaged in managing their own chronic conditions is also in the best interest of the payers and the national healthcare system - as that is where the real expense lies. Its a win, win!

So, in short, no one is trying to address the wait times of normal, everyday patients going in for their annuals because it's not saving anyone money. But helping those patients with chronic conditions to not have to do that once every week, or month, that will help both sides tremendously!

 
Marilyn Cohodas
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Marilyn Cohodas,
User Rank: Author
2/3/2014 | 3:55:20 PM
Patient portals
Compared to the communications i have with my more tech savvy friends and colleagues, my patient portal is pretty basic --  not nearly as consumer-friendly as I would like. My primary care doc has had it for several years, during which time it has undergone several iterations. I find it useful to have a record of my test results, medications, and upcoming appointments hand on my laptop and in a mobile app. I can also email requests for Rx refills, though the email functionality doesn't make it easy to ask simple questions (not a replacement for an office visit, apparently). Integration with other healthcare systems and providers is pretty non-existatnt.

In short, I can see a "there" there. But I'm not holding my breath. 

 
jagibbons
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jagibbons,
User Rank: Ninja
2/5/2014 | 7:43:37 PM
Re: Start with Real Life
Those are exactly the kinds of things healthcare consumer engagement is all about. Reduce the number of visits needed without negatively affecting health. Allow patients to communicate with practicioners electronically. When there are choices to be made about a provider, like for a specialist or non-emergency type of procedures, allow the patient to choose the provider. The individual can decide to save some money by giving up some convenience, or he/she can choose a more convenient option even if it costs a little more.

That being said, I've not seen very many really usable patient portals. I also agree with the comments about paperwork. Even in the same hosptial corporation, I have to fill out the same darn forms every time I see a new physician. If my records are electronic now, why am I suffering carpal tunnel by filling out forms for each visit?
David F. Carr
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David F. Carr,
User Rank: Author
1/31/2014 | 9:47:48 AM
Who excels at this?
What healthcare organizations have you seen do a first rate job of putting the patient first? Who uses technology effectively and in a consumer friendly way?

moarsauce123
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moarsauce123,
User Rank: Ninja
2/1/2014 | 2:21:17 PM
Consumer driven is a misnomer
There is nothing "consumer driven" about health care. If I broke my leg I don't start calling ERs to find out which one takes my insurance and will charge me the least for the rest of the services. There is also no point to shopping around for a cheap doc when the office is 100 miles away and the next available appointment is five months from now, but my health issue is right now.

What we need is health care that allows for freely chosing the medical practitioner and not worrying if the resulting bill will send one into a debt spiral. Other countries do that and they do it for decades already having tremendously less health issues that impact society and economy. And the US? One can be happy if the family deductible is under 3,000$ per year!
David F. Carr
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David F. Carr,
User Rank: Author
2/3/2014 | 4:20:55 PM
Re: Consumer driven is a misnomer
That high deductible is supposed to be good for you because it makes you think about the cost of care, but it's bitter medicine, I agree.


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