NEW YORK A new report by PricewaterhouseCoopers' Health Research Institute found that customer-centric care solutions should be at the forefront of health care in order to improve patient well-being and drive down related costs.
"HealthCast: The customization of diagnosis, care and cure" analyzed nearly 600 government and health leaders in 20 countries, including 50 health leaders in the United States. Among the findings, PricewaterhouseCoopers discovered:
- A consensus that individuals have the greatest influence on their own health status, but that physicians have the greatest external influence on changing patient behavior
- Ninety-seven percent agreed that patients should have some responsibility for managing their chronic conditions such as obesity, asthma, diabetes and heart disease. Of those, 76% of U.S. health leaders and 57% of global leaders think patients should have a “great deal” of responsibility in this
- Eighty-two percent of U.S. health leaders and nearly three-quarters of global health leaders (74%) believe that unhealthy behavior will become increasingly unacceptable in their country
- Lack of willpower was cited as the biggest barrier keeping individuals from managing their own health.
The analysis concluded that the departmentalized thinking of health leaders and physicians has impeded patients' health. The report suggested more focus on allowing people to play an active role in their own health.
“Through incentives baked into our health system, many health organizations have been too siloed in their thinking. They've focused on their silo rather than the whole continuum of care and patient engagement. If patients are not engaged, it is impossible to adequately manage care, consumption and spending.” said Kelly A. Barnes, U.S. health industries leader, PricewaterhouseCoopers. “The overarching challenge for our health system will be to shift the internal focus from the siloed bureaucratic healthcare infrastructure that exists today to one that puts patients at the center of care and engages them to take charge of their health over their entire lifetime.”