Thursday, May 10, 2007

Market-Based Management - Implications for Patient Care

Wayne Gable and Jerry Ellig write in Introduction To Market-Based Management, "The power of the market system lies largely in placing decision making power in the hands of those with the appropriate knowledge".

With the increasing medical information available to many and the rising consumption of health care with increasing aging population, there will come a time that our patients will know more about their disease than us as health care providers. I see how Market-Based Management (MBM) can create value in the health care market place. Traditionally patient care is seen in a command control context. I, the health care provider, know better than, you, the patient. Therefore, just do as I say and all will be well.

I would like to propose another viewpoint inspired by MBM. What if we viewed the patient as an integral part in the decision making process. We, as health care providers, are merely servants that help the patient integrate the vast information they have about their disease. We help them because they lack the appropriate "[understanding] because he 'can't see the forest for the trees'". They will know the best for their own contextual situation as to the what medications they should take. We help them with that decision.

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