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Dr James Hamrick: There's Been Progress in Patient-Centered Care, Albeit Slow

The healthcare system has gotten better at placing more of a priority on patient-centered care, but the progress has been slow, said James Hamrick, MD, senior medical director at Flatiron Health.


The healthcare system has gotten better at placing more of a priority on patient-centered care, but the progress has been slow, said James Hamrick, MD, senior medical director at Flatiron Health.

Transcript

We hear a lot about patient-centered care and keeping the patient at the forefront of care. Over the last few years, has the healthcare system gotten better at doing this?

The healthcare system has gotten better at placing more of a priority on patient-centered care. But the progress is slow, so I think the first places that I think of when I think of investments there are patient portals. These are becoming more and more commonplace, and that’s a way for patients to access things like lab results, appointments, to communicate with their physicians, and that really takes the patient experience beyond just the bricks and mortar of the exam room, and I think as we see portals become more ubiquitous, that does demonstrate that there’s an investment there for patients.

I think the interoperability factor, where people understand now that patients really have to have access to their information across multiple sites of care. In cancer especially, it’s a multidisciplinary treatment team, so typically a surgeon, a radiation oncologist, and a medical oncologist. Those systems have to talk to each other so that patients don’t feel like when they walk in with one of the specialists that they have no idea what the others are thinking. So, interoperability is clearly a patient-focused part of what’s happening in healthcare right now.

And finally, I think beginning to understand how to really hear the patient voice and not approach it in sort of a paternalistic way where we assume because we’re caretakers that we know what patients want. But really working on user-centered research involving a wide variety of patients in crucial, and we’re starting to see that as opportunities at Flatiron, and we’re using some of that.

 
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