Flipping the Script — A Patient-Centered Approach to Fixing Acute Care
When confronted with an unanticipated acute need for health care, patients must weigh multiple complex considerations, including costs, time constraints imposed by family responsibilities and job obligations, and uncertainty about whether their symptoms represent a minor illness or a more serious condition that could worsen if diagnosis and treatment are delayed. Patients must also consider a range of potential local care options, each with a different degree of accessibility and different costs. The relative importance of these factors will vary from person to person and according to the perceived acuteness and seriousness of the health condition. But ultimately, patients seek what acute care providers offer: diagnosis, treatment, alleviation of symptoms, and reassurance.
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