Time to focus on the person, not the patient

whole-ladyKEY TAKEAWAY: Physicians and DTC marketing need a more personal approach to healthcare. One that focuses on the person being treated rather than just another patient.

When my best friend of over 40 years passed away in January there were a lot of medical reasons but perhaps the biggest reason was that he just gave up.  He was tired of seeing so many different doctors, of his doctors not talking to one another and of having to keep track of the medications he was taking.

When I listen to people in research what I hear again and again is that they feel “ignored and lost” in the vast array that is our healthcare system.  They want personal relationships with their doctors and want online health information that “talks to them”.


I sat down with a couple of doctors at an ad board not too long ago and asked them “how many of your patients do you think gave up the fight against chronic conditions?”.  To my surprise they all said “too many”.  There is no doubt that a more personal approach to healthcare is necessary, but will our health system allow for it? Can we afford..

1ne: A healthcare coordinator whose job is to both follow up with patients and ensure that their healthcare providers are sharing information.

2wo: Insurers who follow up with customers to ensure they understand their diagnosis and treatment options.

3hree: DTC material that focuses on the “person” not a segment.

4our: Someone who can clearly explain medications and the importance of compliance.


5ive: Interventions to identify people who are overwhelmed by their health problems.

The question should not be “can we afford it?”, but rather what will happen to costs of we continue to ignore people who need help navigating the maze we call healthcare.