“Warning! Major Confusion Ahead” – Is technology moving faster than patients?
We are living at marvelous era of great medical technology/pharma/e-health innovations, facilitating meaningful healthcare improvements. We are generating loads of health related data, shifting Healthcare back home and expect self-care to prevent, control and even cure diseases. Thus patients are required to understand excessive medical information and follow complex instructions. Does it make sense to them? To you?
9 out of 10 people need help understanding their health information. Low health literacy is a major source of economic inefficiency in the U.S. healthcare system (~$200 billion annually). How can we help patients to “get it”? We need to simplify the complexities and make it clearer.
What do you think? Let's discuss
Some thinking points:
With new medications and devices we are now moving healthcare back home. Treatments that once required hospitalization are now taken at home. Specialty medications are the fastest-growing - and the most expensive - segment of pharmacy care. Patients using specialty drugs have complex conditions and care needs that require support and coordination. Spending on specialty drugs in 2012 in the United States was about $87 billion. Estimates suggest that it could quadruple by 2020, reaching about $400 billion, or 9.1 percent of national health spending.
A patient discharged from hospital is often required to obtain and self-administer medications, perform self-care activities, manage nutritional needs, follow-up with designated providers and more. About 80% will not understand their home care instructions. Are those instructions clear enough? Do they truly understand what to do? Is this contributing to the revolving door syndrome (Readmissions)?
Quantified self is here - 7 in 10 U.S. adults say they track at least one health indicator. For example, In the past your heart rate was documented few times a year, now you can measure and document it 250 times per second. This will generate about 9Gb of data per month per person, but does it mean anything? Will searching Dr. Google solve it?