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Keywords

collaborative care, disease management, patient-centered care, practice improvement

 

Authors

  1. Moore, L. Gordon MD
  2. Wasson, John H. MD

Abstract

"Patient-centered, collaborative care" is healthcare jargon. But underlying the jargon is the principle that a patient who receives such care strongly agrees that "I receive exactly the healthcare I want and need exactly when and how I want and need it." Currently only about 1 in 4 Americans who have adequate financial resources can make this claim. Think of a pyramid. At the apex is the highest level of "patient-centered, collaborative care." At the base are measures about "what's the matter" (from the clinical perspective) and "what matters" (from the patient perspective). As patients and clinicians act collaboratively on these measures, they climb closer to the apex of the pyramid. Given the realities of healthcare in the Unites States, should busy professionals take time to think about ways to climb pyramids? In this "Introduction" we describe why the answer to this rhetorical question ought to be "yes." In the articles that comprise this issue, readers will learn how technology that supports patient-centered, collaborative care can help bridge the gap between desirable goals and limited time. All the authors understand technology (such as hardware and software), and the way humans use the technology (called techne) will not overcome the many obstacles to the attainment of patient-centered, collaborative care. Nevertheless, we are hopeful that the examples described in these articles suggest ways that significant progress toward patient-centered, collaborative care can be made. The articles are practical. The results are persuasive. It is worth the climb!!