Viewpoints: Why Are Patients Now Being Called Consumers?; Be Careful What You Flush
Editorial writers discuss these health topics and more.
Referring To Patients As Consumers Can Have Consequences
Healthcare often looks to other industries for ideas about how to improve experiences, workflows and revenue. Although this practice creates significant opportunities to learn and innovate, it has also ignited a trend of referring to patients as customers. This view is problematic. (Drs. Niraj Sehgal and Michael Pfeffer, 11/15)
Los Angeles Times:
What We Flush Down The Toilet Matters
Only “the three Ps” — pee, poop and paper — go in the toilet. Everything else goes in the trash can. Right? The last century has given us three new Ps to contend with: plastics, PFAS, and pharmaceuticals. We should not flush these, though throwing them in the trash doesn’t mean they won’t come back to harm us. Microplastics are found in human blood. PFAS — per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, which are known popularly as “forever chemicals” and are associated with a host of bad health effects — taint the drinking water of numerous communities. Drugs meant to treat deadly disease in human beings end up causing illness in other creatures when, discarded, they leach into the water. (11/15)
Dallas Morning News:
Fentanyl Is Claiming Lives Across North Texas, So Why Aren’t More People Tested For It?
Drug users switch to fentanyl and pass court-ordered drug tests. Courts lecture first-time drug offenders on the dangers of fentanyl but don’t screen them for it. Emergency rooms send overdose patients home without testing them for the substance driving the nation’s drug crisis. (Claire Ballor and Sharon Grigsby, 11/14)
Should Hospital Systems Be Like Apple Or Android?
Convenience is rapidly becoming a guiding principle for hospital system strategy and competition. As patients demand a more convenient, integrated care experience, and new partnerships/acquisitions (for instance, CVS Health and Oak Street Health, or Amazon and One Medical) redefine what the consumer health care journey looks like, the industry will continue to see a collision between virtual, at-home, and in-person care. (Sean Duffy and Seth Joseph, 11/15)