What do Buzzwords in Healthcare Really Mean?

Dr. Adam Tabriz

We should not judge a book by its cover

Andy Art by Unsplash

All of us who have been involved in current healthcare and who take care of patients in our day-to-day lives have heard buzzwords like patient engagement, patient journey, and patient-centered care. It’s also not surprising that insurance companies and politicians have focused their efforts on this type of vocabulary.

These terms sound intriguing when it comes to delivering a quality medical service to patients and mobilizing the best of the medical services to their care. But what is a patient journey exactly and what does patient-centered or patient-engaged healthcare mean?

Have you noticed that these terms have one thing in common?

They are all subjective words and traits, just like many other buzzwords in the political world. Is that what really matters? Is it really how we can deliver the best care possible to our patients?!

If so why are we supporting and incentivizing corporate medicine? Why are we empowering managed care systems, and why are we letting large organizations be at the center of the healthcare system?

The current public health model utilizes what we know as the population health system. Although it has worked well for the past two centuries, nonetheless, that is ignorant of the specific needs of individual patients, by virtue of limiting their options.

I describe it as hypocritical.

There is no doubt that understanding the patient journey is a necessity in delivering proper care — but we can not overlook objectivity either.

The road that patients will take as individuals needs proper pavement and minimal hazard and it needs to be equitably rewarding. After all, we can not create a journey for someone based on our own experience. The only way we can reward our patients with the best care possible is through personalized relationship, planning, feedback, corrective action plan delivery.

We have technologies, strategies, and science to help us reach our goals.

Current models of the patient journey and patient-centered solutions are nothing but empty bubbles waiting to burst. The illusion that is backed by mathematically constructed algorithms, data collected through hypothetical scenarios without true patient involvement.

The contradiction between objective and population health is subjective to ideals that don’t even belong to the actual individual patient.

For example, a healthcare delivery experience for a patient with a rare disease can be very pleasant and smooth, but the treatment he or she is receiving might not be the best option. Or on the reverse side, the patient may receive the best treatment but has to call his or her insurance carrier 10 times before succeeds in getting that treatment. And the same scenario will have a completely different result on a person with different cultural, demographic backgrounds.

Buzzwords are excellent tools for today’s political and business world. They are like a carrot in front of a horse and can be used to lead people. But why do people follow?

Strategies offered today are not based on the solutions described in the content of the book, but only politicians holding the book high above and showing the title and the cover convincing their audience that whatever is within the book content is the real solution.

It is time to seek the content and not be deceived by the cover.

Maybe it is time we promote scientific debates when selecting legislators rather than holding political debates. Maybe it is time to value individual needs based on a personalized healthcare model, and maybe we need to empower patients, physicians, and healthcare providers. And let corporations work for people and not the other way around.

Maybe we need to harness the instruments of technology, strategy, hands-on support. Maybe we need to stop the healthcare train from derailing. Maybe we need to take politics out of healthcare by simply closing loopholes and eliminating incentives to middlemen. Or maybe, we need to put healthcare where it belongs: the physician-patient visit.

Quality of medical service delivered is just as important as the quality of service perceived and patient experience must be the true reflection of services delivered to them. Everyone’s experience and perception of the same identical service is not the same.

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Adam Tabriz is a Physician, Writer, Entrepreneur, and public health policy, expert. He is an advocate for Personal liberty. The combination of his experience and expertise underlines his passion for advocating true “Personalized Healthcare” and “Healthcare without Borders.” His favorite slogan is: “Peace of mind would come to all people through the universal respect for the basic human rights of everyone”

San Francisco, CA

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