Thursday, January 8, 2015

The Death of the Patient: Moving from 'Healthcare' to 'Health' and 'Patient' to 'Person'

By Reenita Das
Partner and Senior Vice President
Healthcare and Life Sciences
Frost & Sullivan

Today, if you speak to anyone in the healthcare world, the discussion always begins and ends with making the change to a “patient centered care model” or putting the patient at the center of the care continuum. So much so, we recently added a “5th P” – Personal Responsibility – into our healthcare model: Prevention, Prediction, Personalization, Preemption. But looking at the bigger picture, what does this mean to all of us who have lives outside of the health statistic we are, the disease percentage we’re grouped within, or the Rx number pharmacists reference to fill our prescription?

To all the organizations, affiliations, companies, universities, and even social media groups that we identify with and belong to, we are individuals.  That’s not the case in regards to our affiliation or membership with insurance providers, medical practitioners, and pharmacies. As a cultural norm, we don’t define our personal identity as, for example, a member of Aetna Health Insurance. That’s not something we’d put on our Facebook profile. So, how can we recreate our patient identity – a number, stat or percentage – to encompass who we really are?

To explore this concept further, I spoke with Dennis Robbins, Ph.D., a nationally recognized healthcare thought leader, steward and activist. He has been steering the patient-centric movement that often admonishes us for not making changes in our lives to be healthier, sleep more, be less stressed, while at the same time, realizes that as “patients,” we are passive, vulnerable, sick, wounded , subservient, and on unequal footing, which creates a huge disparity and disadvantage for the person. For those reasons alone, it is critical to change the dialogue from “patient” to “person.”

For more, continue reading on Forbes.

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