Patient Centeredness: Measurement Tools and Data Analysis
What is a patient centered care? People have subjective views what a quality, patient-focused care might be, but certainly it can be summarized into two main aspects of care affecting the healthcare challenge: the overuse and underuse of services. According to some estimates, thousands of Americans die annually because they were not provided proper care. These patients would often be treated for symptoms and not serious, underlying problems resulting in increase in medical costs and unnecessary testing. Like underuse, the overuse of services contributes up to 30% of the national healthcare costs in the United States. Both of these problems can lead to thousands of deaths.
In my previous assignment I noted two examples. In one, patient was not given proper care. Some of the physicians she visited either did not want to/ neglected to take her complaints seriously. Instead of utilizing some of the most obvious steps in helping the patient resolve her problem those physicians wanted to take drastic measures. One gynecologist insisted the patient gets hysterectomy, even when the patient did not feel it was necessary and sought second opinion. Her primary care physician refused to conduct any diagnostic testing without the patient having a health care coverage. Second gynecologist did not even conduct an exam, and just confirmed what the previous gynecologist advised. Changing her primary care physician and visiting an urogynecologist lead the patient in discovering a serious health problem. Although she underwent a major surgery, the overall costs of her treatment were not as large as they would have been had she decided to not purse a better quality of care.
In terms of overuse, I noted an example of a patient suffering from mental health problems. One of her struggles is the fictitious disorder characterized with patient inventing or mimicking symptoms of various medical conditions. The patient has a history of frequently visiting the emergency room (ER), changing primary care physicians, seeking new medications and inappropriately utilizing the local emergency management services (sometimes on a weekly basis). Typically, during the ER visits the patient would undergo numerous diagnostic testing. Majority of the time, the results do not show any serious conditions. She would be given new prescriptions that may serve the same purpose, and be just as effective, as the medicines she already has.
How to Combat Underuse and Overuse of Healthcare Services?
Ways to improve quality in patient care include, but are not limited to, active patient involvement in treatment, patient accountability, utilizing the medical technologies, conducting surveys, utilize prevention measures, and investment in patient education. Without proper patient education about their health conditions and various methods of treatment, the patients may decide not to follow doctor recommendations. Sometimes patients...