We are seeing an increasing number of studies and articles about who is in charge of health care decisions for individuals.  Called by a number of different names [personalisation; patient-directed care; person-centered care; self-directed care] they all mean the same thing – Who Decides?

The Commonwealth Fund’s recent study entitled International Developments in Self-Directed Care gives evidence of an international trend toward self-directed care focused on an unlikely group of patients – the frail, old, disabled and mentally ill.  The enabling factor is the use of personal budgets, a cash payment made to people eligible for services with few strings attached, empowering the individual make their own decision about who will care for them how.

The implications are huge.   As noted by John Goodman in Health Affairs,  “The advantage of empowering patients and families in this way are straightforward:  lower costs, higher quality care and higher patient satisfaction.”

See link for last weeks post on implications of ‘personalisation’ – a study by The Third Sector Research Centre in England.

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