Saturday, September 26, 2009

Creating a patient participation platform to improve healthcare

I think the reason why the healthcare system is so patient-unfriendly is because doctors have all the power. The doctor has the medical knowledge , expertise and skills. In sharp contrast, the poor patient is worried and sick , and is dependent upon the doctor's help to get better.

This is sometimes why doctors can be so arrogant and rude. Patients need them more than they need patients - and this is especially true of very busy doctors who have packed schedules and long waiting lists.

One way of redressing this imbalance would be to give patients more power. If patients could organise themselves into communities and compare notes about doctors; their bedside manners; how much they charge ; and their clinical outcomes, this would allow patients to select the best doctors for themselves.

But wouldn't doctors feel threatened by such a system ?

I think this would actually help doctors a lot ! Because of the positive patient feedback, good doctors would do even better ; while the bad doctors would have to quickly improve and shape up - or be left with no patients at all !

It will also help to balance the workload amongst senior doctors and their juniors. Senior doctors who are good are often so busy, that they have no time for themselves ; and they are so caught up in their patient workload, that they may not have enough time to devote to every patient they see. They may often burn out because of the excessive workload.

On the other hand, junior doctors who are good and have all the time in the world to devote to their patients, are often left twiddling their thumbs , because they do not have any patients to see. This encourages them to take shortcuts and indulge in malpractises such as giving commissions and cuts - all of which slowly and progressively poison the medical system and damage the doctor-patient relationship.

A patient participation platform will allow these young doctors to become busy and rise quickly in their profession , without having to indulge in corrupt practises !

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