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Health Aff (Millwood). 2013 Feb;32(2):250-8. doi: 10.1377/hlthaff.2012.1120.

Patients, providers, and systems need to acquire a specific set of competencies to achieve truly patient-centered care.

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American Board of Internal Medicine, Philadephia, Pennsylvania, USA.


Studies show that patients want to be more involved in their own health care. Yet insufficient attention has been paid to the specific competencies of both patients and providers that are needed to optimize such patient engagement and shared decision making. In this article we address the knowledge, skills, and attitudes that patients, physicians, and health care systems require to effectively engage patients in their health care. For example, many patient-physician interactions still follow the traditional office visit format, in which the patient is passive, trusting, and compliant. We recommend imaginative models for redesigned office care, restructured reimbursement schemes, and increased support services for patients and professionals. We present three clinical scenarios to illustrate how these competencies must work together. We conclude that effective shared decision making takes time to deliver proficiently and that among other measures, policy makers must change payment models to focus on value and support education and discussion of competencies for a modern health care system.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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