Digital Age Healthcare Dangers Essay

Digital Age Healthcare Dangers Essay

Health care management in the Twenty-First century has evolved tenfold through technology compared to health care in the previous century or even two decades ago. Prior to the Twenty-First century families were provided medical care in their own home maintaining privacy and comfort. Families would take care of their ill family members until all remedies possible were used and then a doctor would be called when family members could not handle the treatments. As research in medicine expanded, new treatment tools and technologies resulted in changes of healthcare delivery, as a result doctors quit making house calls and became affiliated through a hospital. Families relied on each other for physician recommendations. Advances in digital media are changing how patients get information about hospitals and how patients choose a physician.Digital Age Healthcare Dangers Essay


By 1995 NSFNET was decommissioned, which removed the remaining restrictions on the use of the Internet by the public in the US, consequently a vast array of medical information became public information ( Medical websites such as WebMD are the first used to self-diagnosis prior to making a doctors appointment. A survey conducted by Pricewater Copper showed the “most trusted resources online do doctors, followed by nurses, and hospitals, post those” ( As of lately more medical professionals and hospitals have turned to social media to convey health information. Marketing specialist Amanda Mauck thinks that engaging patients via social media to provide comfort, not just relevant health information. A specialist for Le Bohnheur Children’s Hospital,Digital Age Healthcare Dangers Essay

Technology is doing wonders to the health care world. We have advanced tremendously from previous years and researchers are still finding ways to improve the system. Technology in health care is so important because there are many barriers that stop people from receiving the help and care they need due to many reasons like language barriers. With the improvement of technology, we have witnessed how people’s health and wellbeing has improved by using fitness apps and watches that track calories and footsteps. Research was conducted on the gadgets, apps and devices that are shaping health care today. In recent light, the United States has tried to implement the computerized medical records in hospitals and clinics. Companies are also investing in creating technology that helps doctors connect with one another and translate medical information to people that do not speak English. It will definitely take time for the world to implement a systematic health care plan because many places lack the funds.

Use health communication strategies and health information technology to improve population health outcomes and health care quality, and to achieve health equity.

Ideas about health and behaviors are shaped by the communication, information, and technology that people interact with every day. Health communication and health information technology (IT) are central to health care, public health, and the way our society views health. These processes make up the ways and the context in which professionals and the public search for, understand, and use health information, significantly impacting their health decisions and actions.Digital Age Healthcare Dangers Essay

The objectives in this topic area describe many ways health communication and health IT can have a positive impact on health, health care, and health equity. They include:

Supporting shared decision-making between patients and providers
Providing personalized self-management tools and resources
Building social support networks
Delivering accurate, accessible, and actionable health information that is targeted or tailored
Facilitating the meaningful use of health IT and the exchange of health information among health care and public health professionals  Digital Age Healthcare Dangers Essay
Enabling quick and informed responses to health risks and public health emergencies
Increasing health literacy skills
Providing new opportunities to connect with culturally diverse and hard-to-reach populations
Providing sound principles in the design of programs and interventions that result in healthier behaviors
Increasing Internet and mobile access
Why Are Health Communication and Health Information Technology Important?
Effective use of communication and technology by health care and public health professionals can bring about an age of patient- and public-centered health information and services.1,2 By strategically combining health IT tools and effective health communication processes, there is the potential to:

Improve health care quality and safety
Increase the efficiency of health care and public health service delivery
Improve the public health information infrastructure
Support care in the community and at home
Facilitate clinical and consumer decision-making
Build health skills and knowledge
Related Topic Areas
Access to Health Services
Adolescent Health
Disability and Health
Early and Middle Childhood
Educational and Community-Based Programs Digital Age Healthcare Dangers Essay
Back to Top

Understanding Health Communication and Health Information Technology
All people have some ability to manage their health and the health of those they care for. However, with the increasing complexity of health information and health care settings, most people need additional information, skills, and supportive relationships to meet their health needs.

Disparities in access to health information, services, and technology can result in lower usage rates of preventive services, less knowledge of chronic disease management, higher rates of hospitalization, and poorer reported health status.3,4

Both public and private institutions are increasingly using the Internet and other technologies to streamline the delivery of health information and services.5 This results in an even greater need for health professionals to develop additional skills in the understanding and use of consumer health information.Digital Age Healthcare Dangers Essay

The increase in online health information and services challenges users with limited literacy skills or limited experience using the Internet. For many of these users, the Internet is stressful and overwhelming—even inaccessible.7 Much of this stress can be reduced through the application of evidence-based best practices in user-centered design.8

In addition, despite increased access to technology, other forms of communication are essential to ensuring that everyone, including non–web users, is able to obtain, process, and understand health information to make good health decisions.9 These include printed materials, media campaigns, community outreach, and interpersonal communication.

Emerging Issues in Health Communication and Health Information Technology
During the coming decade, the speed, scope, and scale of adoption of health IT will only increase. Social media and emerging technologies promise to blur the line between expert and peer health information. Monitoring and assessing the impact of these new media, including mobile health, on public health will be challenging.Digital Age Healthcare Dangers Essay

Equally challenging will be helping health professionals and the public adapt to the changes in health care quality and efficiency due to the creative use of health communication and health IT. Continual feedback, productive interactions, and access to evidence on the effectiveness of treatments and interventions will likely transform the traditional patient-provider relationship. It will also change the way people receive, process, and evaluate health information. Capturing the scope and impact of these changes—and the role of health communication and health IT in facilitating them—will require multidisciplinary models and data systems.

Such systems will be critical to expanding the collection of data to better understand the effects of health communication and health IT on population health outcomes, health care quality, and health disparities.

Most Americans encounter the medical system only occasionally, through routine check-ups and maintenance, processes usually provoking no more anxiety than general dental care. But when serious illness strikes, patients often experience it as an assault on identity and sense of self. 1 Both seriously ill and seriously worried patients crave information. They can experience powerful sensations and dire fears, but they often do not know how to interpret them. They want to know what medicine can do and what they can do for themselves to make the best of whatever their new reality is to be.Digital Age Healthcare Dangers Essay

Meanwhile, modern medicine too often behaves as if caring for such human needs is beyond its purpose. Medical education stresses pathophysiologic process to the exclusion of the social, personal, and even functional dimensions of health and illness. Residency training teaches diagnosis by biotechnological methods, rendering interpersonal skills and human performance measures anachronistic. Medical financing has followed suit: it so favors the biotechnological aspects of care that its implicit message to professionals is, “Deal with your patients’ concerns on your own time.”

This disjuncture between the patient’s realities and the pursuits of modern medicine is moving toward a new alignment. This essay examines forces for change that are recognizable, formidable, and hard at work. Change will come because millions more aging American families will experience serious illness and insist on it, because researchers are facilitating it, and because medical practitioners and organization leaders are beginning to see the rewards of providing it. But the driving force for change is competition in medical care delivery.Digital Age Healthcare Dangers Essay

Competition is leading to a redefinition of business purpose and quality in industries from automobiles to banking to airlines. Businesses that are winning the loyalty of customers these days define quality as meeting the needs of the customer, a concern that includes but is well beyond manufacturing a reliable product. Companies losing customers are those driven by the traditional producer’s preoccupation with product improvement while ignoring service enhancement. Back in favor is Peter Drucker’s thirty-year-old conclusion that the only valid business purpose is to create satisfied customers. The buyer’s pursuit of better services has been so influential that Business Week has labeled the 1990s the “Decade of the Customer.” 2

Changes in customers’ expectations are moving into medical care services, as patients begin to take matters more into their own hands. Patients may well mobilize an expanded definition of quality in medical care, one calling on practitioners to attend to the full range of problems that patients present.Digital Age Healthcare Dangers Essay

Substantial change will take place in consumers’ expectations and interactions with the medical community for the following reasons.

With the growing burden of chronic care in an aging society, families are increasingly seeking practitioners skilled in addressing functional loss, pain, and anxiety.

“Baby Boomers” want far more information, involvement, control, and choice regarding the services they buy, including medical care, than do previous generations. The first real changes in hospital care have come in the services they have used first: far greater family accessibility and participation in birthing and pediatric units. The pressures of this most educated, consumer-oriented generation will soon be felt in internal medicine and geriatrics as they age and also begin to manage care on behalf of their parents.Digital Age Healthcare Dangers Essay

Vast improvements in information-processing technology are making it feasible to publish patients’ ratings of competing health care providers. J.D. Power changed the nature of the automobile marketplace by making consumer ratings of new cars widely available to the public. New surveys show that patients look forward to using their neighbors’ ratings in deciding where to seek care in the future. 3 Can the day be far ahead when employers, insurers, or consumer groups publish surveys of patients’ experiences with competing medical plans, hospitals, or group practices? A beginning effort in Pennsylvania was reported in The Wall Street Journal: “[F]or the first time, consumers… can compare hospitals on price and performance, much as people compare mileage ratings, service records, and sticker prices when they shop for cars. The implications for the nation’s medical care system are huge.” 4


Many patients are now actively involved in choosing their own medical services, often selecting a health plan or hospital first, then choosing a doctor from among those affiliated. Loyalty to a single provider is not common; many patients report they have switched hospitals or doctors recently or are considering doing so. Digital Age Healthcare Dangers Essay

Finally, patients are choosing providers on factors other than technical expertise, given the high quality level of equipment and personnel now readily available throughout the country and the difficulty in distinguishing among practitioners’ ability to provide complex technical care. 6 Patients are far more likely to focus on differences in providers’ willingness to address the range of problems that accompany serious illness than on differences in technical skills.

The groundwork for a major evolution in American medical care is being laid as researchers and practitioners respond to patients’ mounting insistence on a more responsive system. A new era of consumerism on the part of patients could bring profound benefits over time.

Patient-centered care could put the medical care system more squarely in the business of serving the needs of patients with chronic and serious illness. This could change the nature of medical inquiry, leading to vast improvements in patient functioning, the reduction of pain, and the relief of anxieties that accompany illness.Digital Age Healthcare Dangers Essay

It could expand the business of medical care and the pursuits of its practitioners. It could lead to a discemibly different role for the generalist practitioner, one in which the patient’s reports are crucial diagnostic information and the physician’s counsel is a crucial therapeutic tool. An expanded concept of the purpose and value of the practitioner/patient interaction could in turn force the medical payment system to revalue the time practitioners spend with patients.

It could spawn a generation of patient-interactive technologies, including educational material on treatment options and on self-management of chronic disease, as well as survey information on patients’ assessments of competing medical groups, hospitals, and medical care plans. Patient-administered and -monitored treatments should also become commonplace: self-administered pain medication in hospitals is only the start.Digital Age Healthcare Dangers Essay

It could change how medical care is valued by ushering in a system in which patients’ values regarding risks and rewards are central to determining the appropriate course of treatment. This would lead to a vast change in the type of information collected and analyzed to assess value. It could limit the use of protocols as standards of appropriate treatment.

It could even alter the scope of medical education and the mix of applicants. Medical education for general practitioners of tomorrow may entail far more integration of knowledge from disciplines such as physical therapy, psychology, and sociology.Digital Age Healthcare Dangers Essay

Finally, the sum of these changes could increase public esteem for the medical care system. The root of today’s discontent with the medical system is more than financial. It is also deeply personal. Witness the frustration of a patient writing in a recent “My Turn” column of Newsweek: “I wanted to be treated as a human being, not just the owner of a defective breast.” 7 Public esteem for any industry is the best predictor of the level of public investment in it and freedom from regulation over it. Thus, the nation’s future investment in the medical care system may depend more on public confidence and trust, built through a better response to the needs of its patients, than on any other factor.Digital Age Healthcare Dangers Essay

An enduring principle of biomedical science is that the only relevant phenomena are those that can be observed, described, and measured in an objective manner. Phenomena have to be describable with quantifiable precision by independent observers at different times (otherwise, how can scientists be sure they’re talking about the same thing?). 8 But the problems that most concern patients often lack such precision. For instance, how does a scientific practitioner respond to the “severity” of a patient’s pain, the “extent” of social functioning, or the “degree” of anxiety? So despite growing pressure from patients, physicians have held to their narrow ground in the name of science-based medical practice, even when it puts them in quite vulnerable territory. Witness the hesitancy expressed about the quantification of kindness in this recent article: “Any new chemotherapeutic drug that tripled the survival of patients with incurable cancer would cause great excitement, but we do not know quite how to handle the fact that kindness, emotional support, and optimism have quantitative therapeutic activity.” Digital Age Healthcare Dangers Essay

Expanding the scope of medical science requires breakthroughs in the measurement of these “soft” phenomena. Recent research efforts can claim breakthroughs in a number of areas, including patients’ perceptions of their own well-being, the effects of patient control over treatment choices, the role of physician encouragement in the healing process, and the aspects of hospitalization that help and hinder recovery. We outline next some of the major research breakthroughs and discuss the potential for greater involvement by foundations in supporting such efforts.

The first major breakthrough came recently, the result of years of tenacious efforts by a team headed by John Ware, of New England Medical Center, under a project titled the Medical Outcomes Study, 10 Ware’s team has developed methods for classifying patients’ statements about how well they function and how well they feel, and for translating those classifications into objective measurements. The study group developed the first assessment tools to provide valid, reliable measures of a range of the problems patients care most about, including their functional status, degree of disability, cognitive functioning, emotional health, and social interaction. For the first time, the patient becomes both the recorder and the reporter of information that now is crucial to the diagnosis and treatment processes.Digital Age Healthcare Dangers Essay

Ware’s innovations could ultimately transform the ways in which chronic and fatal illnesses are managed. They should expand the boundaries of the scientific approach to the management of chronic and fatal illnesses, to include how well patients function and how well they feel. Once Ware’s measures are widely available, remaining a “scientific” practitioner will entail addressing these broader aspects of the patient’s experience of illness. Ware’s approach also could change the way in which medical care is valued. Measuring “quality” will no longer rest exclusively on traditional physiological and clinical indexes of how various body organs respond to treatment but will entail determining the effects of various treatments on the quality of patients’ lives.

Foundation support could help put these powerful new outcome measures to work in a variety of actual settings. For example, such assistance would help Ware’s team examine variations in the quality of care among different health plans in a medical market area and determine how employers and employees could use this information to help choose among competing plans.Digital Age Healthcare Dangers Essay

John Wennberg of Dartmouth Medical School and Albert Mulley of Massachusetts General Hospital have moved the valuation of “quality” even more toward the concerns of the individual patient. They find that for a number of medical conditions, no amount of objective clinical or physiologic data is adequate to make an appropriate clinical choice among competing therapies. For conditions such as an enlarged prostate or breast cancer, the decision can be made only by careful reference to a particular patient’s unique perceptions and valuations of the likely risks and benefits of alternative therapies, 11

The implications of Mulley and Wennberg’s observation are immense. It suggests a need to better inform patients about their illness and the benefits and risks of alternative therapies and a need to develop better methods of such patient education. Office-based physicians cannot provide such detailed information regarding alternative treatments. The harried physician, rotating a closed fist to illustrate the location of heart ventricles and valves—just before introducing the choice between angioplasty or bypass surgery—should soon be an anachronism.Digital Age Healthcare Dangers Essay

Mulley and Wennberg’s team is developing interactive video disks as the patient education technology of the future. 12 The disks use scripts and graphics to convey the nature of an illness and the effects of alternative treatments. They are based on the best clinical research and tested for patient understanding. If the method proves successful, video stores throughout the country may one day stock illness-specific educational films, dramatically changing patients’ literacy about their conditions and the caliber and frequency of participation by patients in their treatment. 13

Foundation support would help these researchers broaden their work to include additional clinical conditions. Such assistance could help establish the probabilities that alternative treatments provide the outcomes that matter to patients; help this promising work address various issues of patient comprehension; and devise new communications methods, such as the interactive video films, to help patients become fully informed about the potential benefits and risks of various treatments. Digital Age Healthcare Dangers Essay

The practitioner’s skills as coach will take on greater importance as care for chronic illness renders the patient’s behavior itself—diet, exercise, lifestyle, medications—a more crucial part of treatment. Sherrie Kaplan and Sheldon Greenfield of New England Medical Center have demonstrated that coaching patients with chronic illness to become more involved in their care can result in better physical functioning, speedier recovery from illness, and greater ability to tolerate pain and handle stress. 15 They urge the medical system to teach and reward practitioners who coach patients to think positively, teach self-help skills to aid recovery and coping techniques for pain and disability, and give patients a greater sense of control over their functioning.

This approach is the least well funded type of outcomes research, so evidence of its potential benefits remains thin. Foundation support would enable researchers to address several limitations of existing studies. 16 Foundation support could also illuminate how well various practitioners’ coaching styles work. The first major opportunity to examine the relationship between physicians’ coaching styles and improved patient functioning and well-being is now available through the Ware team’s work. Their research should give important clues about which physician styles lead to improved functioning and well-being in various types of patients. It could open a “scientific” era of research and education on how to improve physician coaching and patient motivation and compliance.Digital Age Healthcare Dangers Essay

Patients’ most common complaint about their physicians is that the physician won’t make time to talk with them. 17 Stingier physician reimbursement is the usual culprit; it squeezes time with patients out of the doctor’s ever busier day. Physicians wind up spending incrementally less time each year with each patient to maintain their incomes. Yet the lack of time spent with patients is also a problem in prepaid group practices, where the reimbursement pinch is not so specific. There may be more than sheer economic determinism to this disjuncture. Perhaps the lack of time made available is further evidence of the difference between the practitioner’s focus on the treatment of disease and the patient’s longing to discuss the illness. If so, time together may soon become more important. Under an expanded view of the role of medicine, the patient’s observations become crucial in recording and reporting functioning and well-being, in choosing the appropriate course of treatment, and in carrying through any prescribed lifestyle changes.Digital Age Healthcare Dangers Essay


To increase time spent with patients, practitioners could form new provider teams. These teams might include nurses, psychologists, educators, nutritionists, and physical therapists, as well as generalist physicians. Insurers could place greater relative monetary value on time spent with patients. After decades of a technology-dominated Medicare physician payment system, the Physician Payment Review Commission (PPRC) is pushing the rewards in the direction of more time with patients.

Researchers and practitioners, determined to become more sensitive to the way patients experience illness, have singled out hospitalization to receive special attention because of its unique trauma-provoking potential. Upon entering a hospital, patients must surrender control over their time, privacy, activities, comfort, and clothes. They forgo the reassurance, intimacy, and diversions from worry that companionship of family and friends can provide. Patients are interviewed, wheeled, scoped, poked, and processed on whatever shifting schedules they can be slotted into, alongside hundreds of others who are hurriedly “worked up” in similar ways. These events usually precede far more bewildering treatment and recovery phases. Hospitalization amounts to the gravest form of incarceration most noncriminals ever experience.Digital Age Healthcare Dangers Essay

This hospitalization process was never designed with the patient/customer in mind. It is, instead, the residual of thousands of continuous accommodations to new technology and competing demands of the various practitioners who command those technologies. Hospitals are recognizing that tomorrow’s patients will seek out hospitals that provide excellent patient care as well as top-notch technical services. Researchers and practitioners are calling for far more than a public relations campaign or a refurbishing of the hotel-like services hospitals provide. They point out, by way of analogy, that companies that are serious about satisfying the customer are reorganizing their businesses throughout—from research to manufacturing, from information systems to pay incentives.

Researchers and practitioners aim to establish continuous improvement of hospital care systems, based upon careful examination of patients’ experiences. They seek to identify and revise practices that contribute to inappropriately high rates of unacceptable patient experiences. Their longer-term goal is to enable hospital staffs to incorporate the systematic improvement of patients’ experience into their institutions’ systems for monitoring and improving care and, finally, into their professional concept of what good practice requires.Digital Age Healthcare Dangers Essay

Systematic efforts to understand how today’s hospital practices collide with patients’ needs have just begun. Only recently have survey techniques, applied in other fields for years, been called into service to dissect how patients actually experience hospitalization. Doing so was previously considered an impossible task: different patients need different things and their needs are constantly changing. To circumvent an infinite diversity in preferences, surveyers target patients’ actual experiences. They learn the frequency and intensity with which undesirable events occur to various types of patients and positive events are neglected.

A team led by Thomas L. Delbanco of Boston’s Beth Israel Hospital has used focus groups to find out whether certain common hospital practices impede the recovery process. The team devised a questionnaire for patients about their experiences with a range of practices and surveyed recently hospitalized patients across the nation (see RD. Cleary et al., “Patients Evaluate Their Hospital Care,” in this volume of Health Affairs ). A book describing the team’s findings and observations about how to improve patient care practice is in preparation. Digital Age Healthcare Dangers Essay

Valid, reliable scorecards of hospitalized patients’ experiences could eventually transform hospital staffing and practices, just as the medical outcomes study promises to transform the management of chronic illness. Foundation support could hasten the process. For example, far more needs to be known about how accurately hospitalized patients can recall events that took place, often amidst considerable stress, uncertainty, or distraction, or how factors such as the patient’s age, educational level, or severity of illness affect the accuracy of their recall under stress.

The real work begins after surveys pinpoint the nature and severity of problems patients encounter. Developing a continuous monitoring capacity to deliver relevant, timely feedback from patients to staff members will require ingenuity and effort. A hospital must then determine which staff groups have the opportunity to improve specific problems, make them aware of the problems, involve them in devising solutions, enlist their cooperation in carrying out new approaches, and provide incentives to help assure that new behavior becomes part of a new standard practice. This may entail implementing changes in work priorities, attentiveness to requests and potential problems, and interpersonal styles.

More serious or pervasive problems require more fundamental reconsideration of staffing responsibilities. For example, many patients crave information at times when no one authorized to give it is available. Delegating authority to provide more information on the spot is called for, even though this will challenge long traditions of tight hierarchical control over who can provide certain information. Other serious problems, such as long waiting times for pain medication, are amenable to technological solutions: providing self-administered analgesics is an easier solution than paying for extra staff or changing staff priorities.Digital Age Healthcare Dangers Essay

Two groups of hospital directors, led by Mitchell T Rabkin of Beth Israel Hospital in Boston and Ronald Anderson of Parkland Memorial Hospital in Dallas are pioneering efforts to rebuild practice systems for their hospitals that are far more patient-responsive. Participating hospitals intend to share patient reports with staff and alert them to unacceptable frequencies of unwanted experiences. Then, staff will help identify ways to eliminate inappropriate error rates, emphasizing practices that limit pain, reduce anxiety, provide information that patients seek, enhance patients’ sense of control, and teach them coping and self-help skills. Information systems also being developed will measure the extent to which the changes lead to better experiences for subsequent patients.Digital Age Healthcare Dangers Essay

The breakthroughs discussed above are ushering in a new era of consumerism on the part of patients. Change is irrepressibly under way; yet the task ahead is herculean. It consists of nothing less than introducing a new paradigm for medical care delivery—one true to the principles of William Osier, yet uniquely adapted to the opportunities of today.

Foundations have an enormous opportunity to contribute. Their support could help enable medical professionals, medical institutions, and community associations to establish, as part of the fabric of their quality assurance programs, systems for the continuous monitoring and improvement of practice, based upon the scrupulous examination of patients’ experiences. Foundations’ goals should include helping participating professional groups to incorporate the systematic improvement of patients’ experiences into their professional concept of good practice.Digital Age Healthcare Dangers Essay

Foundations can start by investing in any one of the promising pursuits described in this essay or in efforts to spark synergies among various health services researchers. Such investment would complement that of the federal government, which to date has concentrated its support in this field primarily on the study of clinical outcomes. By accelerating movement toward a more patient-valued paradigm of medical care, foundations could help restore public trust and confidence in the medical professions and improve the healing process.

The Commonwealth Fund directs its work on this subject through the Picker/Commonwealth Patient-Centered Care Program. Begun in 1986, the program has three interlocking pursuits: ( 1 ) improving methods for examining patients’ experiences and how various practices affect patients; (2) enabling a wide range of medical professionals and institutions to devise and implement ways to improve practice in their own settings; and (3) helping medical providers and community associations to put patient reports to practical use in communities. Funding under this program has totaled $4.85 million to date.Digital Age Healthcare Dangers Essay

The Commonwealth Fund is investigating three initiatives under the first pursuit. One is a fellowship program to support the postgraduate training and career development of young professionals who are particularly interested in improving the methods for examining patient experiences. Second, the fund supports research to improve methodological techniques fundamental to diagnosing and categorizing patients’ experiences. The third initiative will seek to convene forums of interested investigators to facilitate the exchange of theories, methods, instruments, and information.

Within its second pursuit, The Commonwealth Fund is continuing its sponsorship of work by a task force of private hospitals under the direction of Rabkin and a task force of public hospitals under the direction of Anderson, on behalf of the National Public Health and Hospital Institute. Work toward a system for monitoring how office-based practices can be more responsive to patients continues under the leadership of John R. Ball and Frank Davidoff of the American College of Physicians. A major research study of the effects of various staffing levels and patterns on patients’ experience is intended to provide the nation’s nursing leadership with important information. This study is being conducted by Ann Minnick at Rush-Presbyterian-St. Luke’s Medical Center in Chicago. The fund is also investigating ways to help prepaid group practices and neighborhood health centers devise ways to use patients’ experience reports for continuous improvement.Digital Age Healthcare Dangers Essay

Under the Picker/Commonwealth program’s third pursuit, the fund is investigating ways to incorporate patients’ experience reports into communitywide systems for monitoring quality of care. This includes various systems adaptations under consideration by community associations of employers, insurers, and providers, as well as communitywide monitoring systems devised by any one of these groups, consumer associations, or national periodicals. The fund is discussing initiatives with many of these different groups. It has also been following the path-breaking efforts of the Hartford Foundation’s Community Health Management Initiative to include patients’ experience reports in community-based quality-monitoring systems.Digital Age Healthcare Dangers Essay

A major evolution in the purpose and practice of medical care toward the greater accommodation of the needs and experiences of patients is now under way. If it flourishes, it will improve the health of the American people, expand the business of clinical care, alter the training and pursuits of medical practitioners, change the nature of patient education, change the care process of hospitals, and revise the way patient care is measured and rewarded.Digital Age Healthcare Dangers Essay

While the nation’s attention is riveted on access to medical care and how that care is to be financed, these two issues cannot be resolved satisfactorily without a sensible accommodation to the consumer movement now under way. This will entail, at a minimum, a payment system that gives patients choice among plans, physicians, and hospitals; that gives them ready access to the kind of patient information and education that enables informed choice; and that rewards the practitioners and facilities that provide the type of care they choose, within whatever system of fiscal constraints is devised.Digital Age Healthcare Dangers Essay