A: In the past, patients would come into a health care facility, receive their evaluation and treatment, and be provided post-discharge directions for how to care for themselves after leaving the facility. At this point, they were no longer under the provider’s immediate oversight.
Today, the extreme complexity of America’s health care system is making it increasingly difficult for patients to navigate to the right place, receive treatment at a reasonable price, and correctly follow post-discharge directions. Our patients are flooded with questions like:
- Who do I contact about how I’m feeling?
- Where am I eligible to get care?
- What will I be charged for immediately and what charges will there be for any potential ongoing treatment—and is it worth it?
- How do I pick up my prescribed medications?
- What do I do if something goes wrong?
Sometimes, the process is so complicated that patients decide not to see a doctor at all. Sometimes, they come in, but don’t understand and/or don’t have the resources to follow post-discharge instructions, so they end up back in the health system. Patients need support—and as health care leaders and providers, we can make a difference for them.
Patients are going to spend much more time outside your facilities than they do inside, so you need to meet them where they are.