Hospitals may actually increase patient satisfaction and save money by letting patients help themselves. A report released in the February issue of the journal Health Affairs shows that encouraging patient self-care lowers costs, improves patient outcomes, and gives hospitals higher scores on patient satisfaction.
The United States spends over $8,000 a year per person on health care, adding up to over 17 percent of the gross domestic product at $2.7 trillion a year and spending is expected to reach 20 percent GDP by 2021, according to government projections. In fact, U.S. health care spending dwarfs that of any other industrialized nation and continues to escalate at an unsustainable rate.
The report, authored by eleven leaders of health care organizations such as Kaiser Permanente and the Department of Veterans Affairs, argues that the right approach to health care overhaul involves encouraging patient autonomy, home health and care teams, and evidence-based best practices.