September 30, 2013

A transactional patient experience

When Seeing The Same Physician, Highly Activated Patients Have Better Care Experiences Than Less Activated Patients

Patient engagement with the treatment of the disease is increasingly relevant. It seems that we have rediscovered that successful outcomes not only depend on the health care system, the patient behaviour may change the course of the disease. The conceptualisation of this trend has come up with a new term: patient activation - a term referring to the knowledge, skills, and confidence a patient has for managing his or her health care-.
A recent article at HA highlights the issue:
Patients at higher levels of activation had more positive experiences than those at lower levels seeing the same clinician. The observed differential was maintained when we controlled for demographic characteristics and health status. We did not find evidence that patients at higher levels of activation selected providers who were more patient centric. The findings suggest that the care experience is transactional, shaped by both providers and patients. Strategies to improve the patient experience, therefore, should focus not only on providers but also on improving patients’ ability to elicit what they need from their providers.
Easier said than done. Anyway, this is not an excuse to put efforts in such direction.
 In addition, a recent study found that patients at higher levels of activation have lower health care costs than those at lower levels.
There is no reason for procrastination, given the current state of resource scarcity.