Protecting The Human Factor In The Age Of Technological Medicine
Between the pressures of rising costs, treatment advances, and the ongoing seismic shifts in government policies, the health care system is at a crossroads. Providers, health care companies, and consumers are all trying to navigate their way through a shifting landscape. At a time of ever-increasing possibilities, how do you ensure medical care keeps the best outcome for the patient central to the decision-making process?
Be an Informed Consumer
Whether you are evaluating care for yourself or for a loved one, do your homework. Research physicians, procedures, and facilities to find the ones that best fit your needs. There are a variety of online resources to help. You and your care team want the best outcome. Be sure you are all clear about what constitutes a good outcome.
This is especially important when it comes to end-of-life care. Have these conversations long before they are needed. What is important? Would you or your family member want to avoid discomfort or have all medical interventions possible, regardless of potential pain? The time to weigh the risks and benefits of certain treatments like a respirator is not in the middle of a medical crisis. While the conversations can be difficult, they become invaluable because everyone, including care providers, understands what defines the best outcome for that particular patient.
As you ask questions about medications, conditions, and procedures, make sure you are getting your information from a variety of reputable resources. Just because something shows up at the top of your internet search does not mean it’s the most accurate source.
Be a Proactive Professional
If you are a health care provider or work in the health care field, you are acutely aware of the tug between technological advances and the human touch. From algorithms that predict results to costly breakthrough treatments, technology has changed the way medical care is delivered. Instead of getting frustrated by the process, consider a career shift to a position with broader decision-making powers. Health care administrators greatly impact the care delivery systems and patients. You could get your executive mha from USC online.
Be an Engaged Advocate
Decisions about health care policy are made at many levels. Employees get their health insurance through their jobs. If the HR department sends out a survey about potential insurance changes, respond. If Congress is working on legislation for health policy at the federal level, contact your representatives to make sure your concerns are known.
Perhaps you need to advocate for yourself or a family member. If you have a question or concern about a facility’s decision, do not hesitate to have a frank discussion about healthcare administration ethics. Especially if the disease or procedure is a complicated one, it is important that you gain a clear understanding of the situation.
Technology such as electronic medical records facilitates the delivery of quality care. For consumers, they can also raise privacy issues. If you have questions about how your insurance company safeguards customer information, ask.
There are many benefits to technological advances in health care. It is vital, however, that people evaluate them in thoughtful ways to make sure that the human touch is not obliterated.