Notes & Links: July 22, 2013

The Price Of The Autism-Measles Panic, 15 Years Later

We should send a thank you note to Jenny McCarthy for helping thin the herd. The final paragraph captures it well.

“As the Wales outbreak demonstrates, though, it takes more than parents. It also takes people–scientists and journalists–willing to use sensationalism to drum up readership and attention and money and to sideline public health in the process. And unfortunately, we have yet to develop a vaccine against simple human venality.”

The Affordable Care Act Will Fail Without Patient Engagement”

This is a thoughtful and well measured analysis of the ACA, Patient Engagement, and cost. Adrian Gropper, MD makes the following point which I see as yet another reason to engage patients in their care. It is time to  put patient centric first. 

The path to health reform in the age of unlimited connectivity and mobility cannot continue to bypass the patient. EHRs are an institutional tool and they are unlikely to be either the doctor’s or the patient’s lightsaber regardless how many federal regulations, certifications and billions of dollars we throw at them. 

The Office Visit Revisited

This is timely, important, and so spot on regarding the fact the office visit is not a drive by but part of a continuum of care. Dr. Lamberts says it well when he writes:

My care is no longer episodic, so why should my records be?  I no longer need “visits” as units of commerce, and no longer need “problems” as the goods for which I am paid.  This took me quite a while to figure out, and has me making some radical (crazy?) changes to how I think about care.

Read this if you want to where healthcare should be moving and why. It takes the EMR and makes it the narrative in the care. So well written and on point. 

What Do Physicians Think About ACA and the Future: The Survey Says!

Deloitte recently completed a survey of US Physicians titled “Physician perspectives about healthcare reform and the future of the medical profession” I have linked to the study which is detailed and chock full of information that we can all use. Some of the key findings from the survey are:

  • The performance of the US healthcare system is suboptimal, but the Affordable Care Act (ACE is a good start to addressing issue of access and cost.
  • Satisfaction with the profession is driven by patient relationships
  • Clinical decision-support information technologies that reduce unnecessary services and increase clinical adherence to evidence-based practice are of interest to physicians. 
  • Connectivity with consumers (patients) using online or mobile technologies and personal health records expected to become increasingly important to physicians.

There is much more so please take the time to read this. Below are two charts that speak to a sense that the total number of physician who see the ACA as a good start remains the same with an increase in surgical specialists from 28% in 2011 to 38% in 2012. Non-surgical specialist saw a decrease from 53% ro 47%. Which I would attribute to the fact ACA is looking to do more for the PCP. Those physician who rated ACA as a step in the wrong direction has reduced across the board. 

When asked about types of incentives that might work best with consumers “Coaching (such as personal, online, patient navigators) was in third place behind Financial and Rewards. That speaks to the need to create easy to use practical ways to connect with those patients who want to be involved in their healthcare. Or as I see them adults who want to solve healthcare problems. 

Physicians report the following:

  • 33% of physicians can communicate with patients using email or texts
  • 27% of physicians beleive consumers can be directed to trusted healthcare sites

This study with other data from Pew etc. speaks to the need, the real need to aid physicians in connecting with patients to manage clinical care better and other functions of the patient physician relationship. Over bearing portals and technology that is not driven by ease of use and not based around how adults learn is failing. We need to put the physician at the center of a patients healthcare workflow without physician burden. It is time to build and test new models where the connection is about learning and change. Where the single most trusted knowledge source is our personal physicians not a Website.