P4 Medicine Begins with Patients, Experts Say

Oct 15, 2010, 15:56 ET from The Ohio State University Medical Center

COLUMBUS, Ohio, Oct. 15 /PRNewswire/ -- Healthcare consumers took center stage at today's annual Ohio State University Medical Center Personalized Health Care National Conference. Speakers focused on ways that P4 Medicine – which is predictive, preventive, personalized and participatory – can revolutionize healthcare by engaging and empowering patients.

"P4 Medicine offers an extraordinary opportunity to set a new direction for the way we structure our lives," said Ohio State University President E. Gordon Gee, in the day's kickoff address.

To transform the healthcare system, "We must treat people as customers, not just patients," said Dr. Clay Marsh, executive director of OSU's Center for Personalized Health Care. "By changing our focus from disease to wellness, we can help customers get healthy and stay healthy."

Under the current system, "Being a patient is about the least amount of fun one can have as a consumer," said Neeli Bendapudi, Ph.D., professor of marketing at Ohio State University's Fisher College of Business.

In her keynote presentation, Bendapudi introduced research on shaping the ideal patient experience. Like P4 Medicine itself, the process begins with understanding the consumer. "We found that people want 'whole person' care that considers their physical, psychological, social and spiritual needs," she said. "They want doctors who are confident, empathetic, forthright, humane, personal, respectful and thorough."

Consumers often can't judge a health system's technical expertise, which is one reason performance in 18 non-clinical service areas such as food service, gift shop and pastoral care can have a profound impact on overall experience. "If you can't get the little things right, patients wonder how they can trust you to do the things that matter," Bendapudi added.

The need for collaboration was a common conference theme. "Patient empowerment is not about overthrowing physicians.  I'm a fan of great doctors," said Dave deBronkart, co-chairman of the Society for Participatory Medicine and known as "E-Patient Dave." However, "the healthcare system is under stress, and very few people talk about engaging the help of the patient."

The story of how deBronkart beat metastatic renal cell carcinoma by becoming "empowered, engaged, equipped and enabled" offered a model for what collaborative P4 Medicine can achieve.

Complete information about the conference, keynote speakers and P4 Medicine is available at the Medical Center's Personalized Health Care blog at: http://phc.osumc.edu/.

Related Links

2010 National Conference on Personalized Health Care

SOURCE The Ohio State University Medical Center