I would like to believe that the care I give patients is patient-centered. But two weeks ago, Dr. Donald M. Berwick made me wonder if I could do more.
Dr. Berwick, President of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement in Cambridge, Mass., and a leading authority on healthcare quality, published a piece titled, "What 'Patient-Centered' Should Mean: Confessions of an Extremist." In it, he wrote that the U.S. would need radically different systems if we are to provide patients with truly patient-centered healthcare. As Dr. Berwick writes, “[We] would all be far better off if we professsionals recalibrated our work such that we behaved with patients and families not as hosts in the care system, but as guests in their lives.”