Make the Human Connection
Western New Yorkers want providers to recognize they are people as well as patients by showing compassion, empathy and respect for their needs.
Why it Matters
For WNY and the Nation
Western New Yorkers mirror nationwide opinion in the importance they give to holistic, humanized health care delivery. Americans participating in more than 3,000 national health care conversations as part of the "America Speaks" forum said patient-centered care is a top priority, mentioning this topic only less frequently than the need for a fair health care system. Moreover, research shows that patient-centered care leads to greater patient satisfaction with improved outcomes, greater patient loyalty and fewer malpractice suits. It also has the potential to reduce costs - physicians who spend more time with patients might find it less necessary to make referrals to specialists, order follow-up tests and prescribe medications. Finally, as the region's population ages and becomes increasingly diverse, so must the health system improve in its capacity to provide the emotional support and sensitivity to cultural values that shape an individual's health care decisions.