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Customer Experience and Design

Can the Healthcare Industry create a Society that No Longer Bowls Alone?

There was a provocative blog published that linked prescription non-adherence with beliefs, trust and lack of communication. As I read through it, my mind thought of two things: 1. Robert Putnam’s classic publication Bowling Alone and the importance placed on trust to create social capital, and 2. the Advocacy Coalition Framework’s role of beliefs.

According to the article published in the Journal of Psychosomatic Research (2008), “patient beliefs and concerns about medications are stronger predictors of patient non-adherence than clinical and sociodermographic factors”. The importance of trust was also illustrated by Robert Putnam when he described the decline in civic engagement throughout the United States. The point here is simple – we have more information on our hands than ever before and as a result we are experiencing a breakdown in trust, because we don’t always get the right information.

The Advocacy Coalition Framework (ACF) examines how information influences individuals with similar deep core beliefs and explains how getting the right information to individuals is the only way to overcome the issue. The right information in this scenario can only be captured and transmitted if the healthcare industry embraces the ICD-9/ICD-10 disease code transition, Meaningful Use initiative and invests in IT capabilities to link information and provide quality, unbiased information to patients.

This is an incredible opportunity for a data-rich industry to show society that it is the crux of society – that indeed the healthcare industry will overcome breakdowns in trust which result in a society that ‘bowls alone’. The current changes within the healthcare industry were inevitable – but, the outcomes are to be determined.

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