The latest trend in health care is patient-centered care. It’s a strange term.
Strange, because what other kind of care is there?
There’s this from the New England Journal of Medicine’s Catalyst:
In patient-centered care, an individual’s specific health needs and desired health outcomes are the driving force behind all health care decisions and quality measurements. Patients are partners with their health care providers, and providers treat patients not only from a clinical perspective, but also from an emotional, mental, spiritual, social, and financial perspective.
The article goes on to discuss the groundbreaking innovation of caring for people as individual humans.
The fact that we need a term like this suggests health care is anything but patient-centered. This latest buzzword popularized by health system media campaigns, marketers and and desperate-to-be-in-the-know keynote speakers shows just how far we’ve drifted from a human-centered mission.
This term says as much about us as our healthcare. We’re desperate to look like we’re for humans and not a burn-and-churn, industrialized health care product.
Patient-centered healthcare. It’s appealing. And it’s as telling as it is popular.