What Do YOU Want?
I received a postcard in the mail last week from a local hospital that said "What changes would you like to see in the healthcare we provide?" with a large space for a response to return. I thought this was very interesting -- what a great way to engage potential clients into finding solutions to provide better care! I know mailing surveys typically bring a low return rate for receiving feedback, but I really appreciated the effort of the hospital to be proactive during this time of nationwide healthcare changes.
I thought for a while about what I would write on the card. I know the feedback I hear from colleagues is that we need more time with patients, and tools (typically software) to be able to do our jobs. We need to have better access to research, and we need to be able to document and communicate our findings to a patient's other healthcare providers. But in those cases, I'm thinking about this from a provider standpoint, not a patient's perspective. What do I want as a patient?
So, what did I write? I think I would want to see the following things:
● I want more face time with my physician. I don't want to give my entire history to a medical assistant only for the physician to quickly review it and leave the room within 5 minutes.
● I want a better review of all of my health issues when I visit my physician. Too many times, I feel like the physician is just focusing in on my sore throat or new mole, when I have an entire body with many systems that could benefit from attention.
● Better information about, and access to, my benefits. Who do I call to ask how much an MRI will cost me? I think this information is difficult for patients to find and understand, and by the time a bill comes, it might be too late.
What do you think? What feedback would you give your doctor, or hospital system to provide you with better care? How do you think the Affordable Care Act will fit in this time of change?