The “New Health Care:” Informed Patients

Tom Peters’ recent discussion with friends is nothing new.  This conversation is happening at dinner tables, around kitchen counters, and surrounding fireplaces the nation over.

But the question comes here: why do so few patients still not question the quality of health care?

We (health care) know mistakes are happening.  Our perception has been that patients know mistakes are happening as well.  But the “quality” of health care is in the eye of the beholder.  Perception is reality.  Patients have a tendency to perceive quality as everything but what health care experts have deemed clinical quality.

It becomes very obvious that we (health care) have failed patients in educating them about what clinical quality health care means.  Every reason being old health care.  The health care of blind trust and walls built so high in order to “protect” “us” from information slipping into “their” hands.

The new health care redefines “protect” “us” and “their.”  The new health care demands full participation.  It demands honesty, communication, and understanding.

We’ve got some work to do.  Transparency efforts are a start.

Mr. Peters brings to light why many health care organizations are fearful of complete transparency:

Make no mistake, this is a story of lousy management and sloppy leadership—not, primarily, the result of lousy health policy.

Make no mistake, this is a story of unconscionably lousy management and almost criminally sloppy leadership—not, primarily, the product of bad health policy.

If patients aren’t motivation enough to tirelessly improve quality, then a flat out indictment of “unconscionably lousy management and almost criminally sloppy leadership” is.  What are you doing to assure the highest (read: the H-I-G-H-E-S-T) quality of care is being provided at your organization?