Patient-Centered Care... Not
There is a big move in both the UK and the USA to adopt patient-centered care. Most people have no idea what that means. I received this article, among others on a health care networking site.
In the past five years or so, I've worked for organizations that try to care-manage patients to preempt health crises. So many of the people I have treated here answer the "Why didn't you call us earlier?" question with "I didn't want to bother anybody!" I never understood that. I spend my days explaining that we're doing our job, it is better for patients to call us at the first sign of a problem rather than wait until things are serious and wind up going to the emergency room or getting admitted to hospital. For two years, they have all looked incredulous when I've said this. Now I know why.
A few nights ago, we had a neighbor around for a pint. He's a nice chap and a doctor in the NHS. We started talking about health care, as one does, and he reveled in stories about telling patients how inappropriate they were to bother him with minor problems. He was very old school (although no older than myself), believing that "Doctor knows best" and that patients should not bother him with questions or concern themselves with things they could never understand. I don't mind sharing a pint with this chap, but I don't think I want him as my GP.
With a culture like that ingrained in the country, the NHS is going to have a heck of a time implementing patient-centered care! This only further strengthens my theory that the Prime Minister, in handing commissioning powers over to the general practitioners, has set the system up for failure.