Opinion: Patient Engagement can not be Without Medical Care with the Patient in Control!

Adam Tabriz

Patient Engagement based on Corporate Terms is Flawed.

Photo by National Cancer Institute on Unsplash

Providing medical care to a patient has always been a journey between a physician or healer and the Patient. Like many other voyages, medical care has one or more partakers onboard. Also, as in different journies, medical care comes with a driver or leader. Such driver has witnessed its particular share of shifting away from the patient into the hands of the physicians, then taken over by the governments and 3rd party payers.

Today, we are glimpsing corporate take over patient care, most being non-healthcare entities. The latter group includes manifold disruptors such as social media, information technology, and e-commerce. The more disruptors emerge within the healthcare domain, the further we witness patients' alienation over their medical care.

Despite the deluge of healthcare industry disruptors, patient care cost is still surging by the year. Irrespective of the fundamental reason behind the rising healthcare costs, one thing is apparent is the vicious circle of still inadequate patient access to quality healthcare, medical care option, and expected service on the one hand and the rising cost on another. In other words, almost every country in the world, in one way or another, is facing health and healthcare inequity.

Furthermore, the convenience of access to information, hence rising healthcare knowledge in the past two decades, has played a fundamental role in raising millennial expectations. Consequently, the rising patient expectation in the face of 3rd party payers and corporate control over their medical care has created a paradox where patients and physicians are being denied specific medical care options that are often fiscally contrived. That has been the source of discontent for patients and physicians, and any further pressure to make those entities fulfill their requests has contributed to a vicious circle of high cost and wretched access to quality healthcare.

Healthcare Leaders Advocate for Patient Engagement to Fight the High Cost of Medical Care.

Administrative outlay by government bureaucracy, corporate greed, and price extortion by the same entities are the driving forces behind high health care costs today. The multitude of government red tapes has further enhanced those drivers.

Healthcare monopolies and insurance companies inflate the cost of healthcare payers to raise premiums and deny care based on them is the epitome of how those in the driver's seat of patient health are pocketing billions of dollars.

The corporate cartel has no incentive to keep medical care costs low. Ironically, the same leaders also advocate for Patient engagement in making knowledgeable determinations on their health.

Indeed, patient engagement will stimulate positive behavior, thus improving their health outcomes and reducing healthcare costs.

But, what kind of an engagement would that be if the most significant element of that engagement has no control over that mission, that is, the Patient's health!?
“Patients play the most central role in Medicine, but are also on the vulnerable players of current healthcare market” — Adam Tabriz, MD

Patient engagement is partly about treating them like actual patrons, realizing the role of technology, delivering a tailored experience to their expectations, and being visionary and convincing to them.

But is it possible to effectively engage a patient in their care if they are not one hundred percent in control of their Journey?

Patient Engagement based on Corporate Terms is Flawed.

In an ever knowledgable world we live in, effective engagement of patients demands full mutual transparency and accountability between the physician, patient, and the stakeholders. It requires a healthcare delivery infrastructure that offers more options, accessibility, and interconnectedness; hence is a hybrid, interactive, collaborative, and transpiring in-person venture "in tandem" with a virtual experience.

A personalized approach to patient care is the essence of patient engagement and vice versa. The patient controls everything about their care, from directly partaking in setting quality and value to medical services rendered to possessing medical records and data and building personalized quality metrics and performance indicators. That kind of control corporate cartels will always defy to give up until millennials withstand them and become the sole driver of their healthcare journey.

” It transpires to have become the prevailing notion that patient engagement is, in fact, the path to patient empowerment, yet notwithstanding the reality that empowering patients reaches beyond what it appears to be nothing short of motivating subordinates of a corporate hierarchy.” — Adam Tabriz, MD

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