Good piece on changing the medical culture from provider-centric to patient-centric. Quote on cancer care:
Individuals that learn they have a chronic illness like cancer are increasingly taking the time to learn about options. Discussions with others with the same illness and searches on the internet render the patient or the patient’s family much more sophisticated and ready to ask questions of their providers. More and more the patient is directing where he or she wants to go for specialty care and many are realizing that those that use of a multi-disciplinary team approach is far superior. Consider a patient with breast cancer. She could, over time, be sent first to a surgeon, then to a radiation therapist and later to a medical oncologist, each with their own concept of what would be best for her condition. Or she could go to a center where she meets with the surgeon, the radiation therapist and the medical oncologist all at one time. They then – once understanding her needs and desires as an individual – offer her a joint plan for care. Now she knows all the steps along the way and what to expect and she has met her caregivers. Likely, she has also met a nurse practioneer who will be her guide throughout the coming months of treatment and follow-up. (For some examples check out the University of Maryland Greenebaum Cancer Center approach to team care.)
I essentially benefit from this kind of approach with the Blood and Marrow Team and it does make a difficult experience much easier.
What do patients want from the health care delivery team?.