% of Patients Unsatisfied with health care — Daily Rise: Wednesday, March 9

81% of Patients Unsatisfied

81% of patients are unsatisfied with their healthcare experience. That’s one of the findings from a new study by Prophet and GE Healthcare Camden Group on “The State of Consumer Healthcare: A Study of Patient Experience.”

“There is a vital change happening in healthcare: People are demanding to be treated as savvy consumers, who deserve choices, convenience and fair prices. The same revolution of consumerism that’s shaking up the way the world buys financial services, airline tickets and groceries is finally underway in healthcare. And as healthcare options multiply, this trend will only accelerate.”

Everyone involved in health care should take to heart the results of this study. Part of the reason why the patient experience is bad and getting worse is because of the disconnect between patients and providers. Among the findings:

  • Providers misjudge the perception of their performance on elements that are most important to consumers.
  • There is a gap in perception between providers and consumers on the quality of experience currently being provided.
  • Consumerism has upended other industries, leading to new expectations for the patient experience.

For anyone interested in learning more about the study, Helen Stewart, Managing Principal at GE Healthcare, Paul Schrimpf, co-lead of the healthcare practice at Prophet and Jeff Gourdji, Associate Partner at Prophet, will lead a webinar on Wednesday, March 30th at 12 p.m. (CST). We’ll share the link as soon as it’s posted online.

Health IT Bill — Why it’s important for patients

Last month, the U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions unanimously supported the “Improving Health Information Technology Act.”

Senate Bill 2511 stresses the importance of using the electronic health record as a central repository for a patient’s entire medical history, including medications prescribed, treatment plans, immunization records, allergies, radiology imaging and lab results.

Healio.com highlights research from the Annals of Family Medicine that shows doctors spend as much as 16.6% of their working day performing administrative duties, including charting and dictation.

“We should go out to the doctors of the country and say, ‘If you’re spending 50% of your time filling out forms, then either you’re doing something wrong or we’re doing something wrong,’” Committee Chairman Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn. said at the hearing. “Let’s work together to fix that. I think the physicians of this country would have appreciated that and would begin to see electronic medical records as an aid, rather than something they dread.”

Innovation in Public Health

Joseph Jimenez CEO of Novartis identifies “Five Ways Innovation Is Advancing Public Health” in a recent piece published at Forbes.com

We agree that precision medicine is one of the most promising innovations that will transform how patients are treated.

“Over the last several years, major advances in genomics–specifically, the way diseases manifest and develop in the body at the genetic level–are improving our ability to target illness at each stage and improve the patient experience,” Jimenez writes. “As a result, we’re sometimes better able to predict which treatments could be most effective by taking into account patients’ individual differences in genetic make-up, environment and lifestyle…With this technology, we may be able to precisely delete, repair or replace the genes that cause currently untreatable diseases, such as cystic fibrosis.”

As we’ve said over and over again, the goal is to deliver the right treatment to the right patient, right now. With advances in precision medicine, we’re quickly making one-size fits all medicine a thing of the past.

Blame the Vials!

The New York Times editorial board recycles the narrative that “Reducing Drug Waste Could Save Billions of Dollars.”

“Given how expensive many cancer drugs are,” the Times editorializes, “it is alarming that the government, private insurers and patients spend an estimated $3 billion a year on cancer medicines that are thrown out because they are packaged in unnecessarily large quantities.”

While it is true that $3 billion is a staggering amount of money, it’s chump change compared to what is lost due to medical errors, fraud and abuse and defensive medicine by doctors who don’t want to be sued. According to some estimates, medical non-adherence by patients who don’t take their meds as prescribed (often because they cannot afford the insurance co-payments) costs the system more than $300 billion.

We agree with the study that there are contradictory regulatory guidelines about packaging size and residual re-use. We are eager to hear new suggestions from doctors, since they are the ones who determine optimal dosing for each individual patient based on their specific medical profiles. Working together on this issue that $3 billion can be reduced. But the key is working together.

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