What It Really Takes to Listen to Patients

This post should be required reading for all health care professionals! I particularly like the point raised about the patient not being a disease with a body attached but a life into which a disease has intruded.

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Medical science has enabled our health care system to deliver outcomes that would have been impossible a generation ago, and advances in fields such as genomics and stem-cell therapy offer immense promise to further accelerate medical innovation.

One promising trend in improving overall care is the growing emphasis on incorporating voices of patients, consumers, and caregivers into the design of programs and policies. Health care is at the beginning of a dialogue with the world on evidence, outcomes, and patient well-being that will transform care.

As extraordinary as insights from the laboratory often are, better understanding the experiences of patients and health care providers can provide a roadmap for the critical last mile of medical care, where all policies, procedures, and practice converge into action.

Below, I offer some approaches drawn from my experiences working in health-care-delivery organizations, government, and industry. The principles I propose are my own and do…

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