This came from the American Diabetes Association press release that accompanied the release of the 2019 Standards of Care.
With the evidence from the latest, high-quality diabetes research, the American Diabetes Association’s 2019 Standards of Medical Care in Diabetes (Standards of Care) include new and revised clinical practice recommendations that put the patient at the center of care.
This use of the term, “patient-centered care” can be found in almost any health organization or hospital public communication these days. I guess the health care business is not different than any business sector these days. They all have an evolving body of lingo intended to communicate their mission.
As a patient with a chronic diseases and frequent user of health products and services, I find this term disingenuous. I don’t have a problem with the sentiment itself. I like that our doctors, hospitals, and suppliers assert that the patient should be the focus of all their efforts. But is this the reality?
Consider the ADA Standards of Care. It serves a valuable purpose to communicate to all diabetes practitioners about the best current way to treat diabetes. The term, “patient-centered care” is mentioned 15 times throughout the document.
I get the distinct impression from reading this document that what’s been published is what the medical writers think is good for us. I see nowhere in this publication any effort to survey or in any way capture what the patient thinks or prefers. They make the implied assertion that what the doctors think serves the patient well is actually what the patients want as well.
While I know that the doctors interest for us has a lot of overlap with what is actually good for us, I don’t think that our interests are 100% congruent. Perhaps this is making too fine of a semantic point but I think if they’re going to talk about what’s good for us, they would at least make a reasonable effort to ask us. The lack of this effort to ask the patient just tells me that their view of what they think the patient wants is the only one that matters.
Anyone else tired of the misuse of this cliche? Is patient-centered care about the patient’s interest or the doctors’ perception of the patient’s interest? It’s not the same thing.