You really need to read this story. The title is called A health care revolution that starts with listening to patients (the link is having some trouble) and it is a classic administrator shell game to placate the media as the system continues to break. Here are some highlights:
- Their quest is unfolding not in a lab or an operating room, but on the screen of an iPad that asks patients a straightforward question: What do you want from your care?
- “That’s the holy grail for me,” said Dr. Vivian Lee, chief executive of the University of Utah Health Care system, a network of four hospitals, a cancer institute, and 10 neighborhood clinics. “Now we’re really going to start to define value in terms that matter to the patients.”
- In late 2012, it became the first hospital system in the country to post unedited patient reviews of its physicians online. Right there, on the official hospital website, patients could, and did, accuse specific doctors of being rude, rushed, or always running late — and rank them on a five-star scale. (They also offered plenty of compliments.)
- Two years later, Lee’s staff built a database the size of multiple football fields to track the health care system’s costs to the penny, another unheard-of step in an industry where most hospitals have only a vague notion of how much they actually spend to, say, replace a knee, or deliver a baby, or evaluate a patient rushed in with chest pains.
- It’s not just apps. Health care innovation requires true communication. It is something Lee believes deeply. Her management style is to set goals and let her employees figure out how to reach them. And she embraces ideas from her staff, too.
- The patient reviews grabbed plenty of national attention. But Lee said the decision to post them was the prelude to a more fundamental change. She wanted to shake up the relationship between the hospital’s doctors and patients, and make the cost of care a much bigger part of the equation.
So are they really listening to patients? If they don’t fix the system by getting rid of the insurers and removing the bureaucratic drag placed on the doctors then all they are doing is moving crap around until the next crisis occurs.
Do doctors, in this industrialized model Lee works in, have time to listen to patients? The article never said. If the answer is no then all the other dog-and-pony show garbage they are doing is for show (and to get Dr. Lee more notoriety as well as an increase in income).