What would a "patient-centric" system of health care actually look like? Not like our current one, whose measures of self-evaluation are so much about the cost of care, not its effect on patients' comfort, ability, and lifespan. An essential re-orientation of health care is necessary, and will only occur once structural change attunes health providers to the expectations of well-informed patients.
"A management truism is that "what gets measured is what gets managed." To see an improvement in our health care delivery, we must therefore measure what is of direct importance to patients in a clinic or doctors office.
"But patient-centric performance measures are unlikely to occur in our current system. Health care providers today are immediately responsible not to individual patients, but to the billing party, for most services - government. Dissatisfied patients have few choices. They can only move from one government-funded clinic to another. The choices of how care is delivered, what care is delivered, how much to pay, and how to evaluate performance remain totally in the hands of government functionaries.
"Health care, organized and run by community groups, will give people real choices in health care provision because members will influence the flow of funding in ways that support appropriate, comfortable care and meaningful evaluation. In order to thrive, community-controlled organizations must track, report on, and react to, patient satisfaction and outcomes rigorously and comprehensively."