The Nobel Prize-winning economist Kenneth Arrow in 1963 raised a basic feature of the relationship between the health system and its professionals to patients: the information asymmetry. This concept is very simple: the health professional has more knowledge than the patient. Although the patient knows how you feel and that hurts or bothers, is the professional who can advise in relation to the care or treatment you need.
Logically, the patient just letting the professional advise on its decision. Moreover, most often, the patient will just deciding what proposed. This is called in economics imperfect agency relationship, “as I have no idea, give me some advice and I will continue to literally”.
Although you have seen that we talk about economics, concepts are not really different from what we see every day in a query or in an emergency door. Moreover, the difference of information is one of the reasons for the development of a paternalistic health system like ours, which has been built almost thinking of a patient being treated and the health board. But the patient learns, is interested and wants to take care of their disease, but with the advice and counsel of professional reference. That plus the knowledge of his illness is what the English call empowerment and here we do not know what to call it, but there was an attempt to approach the concept through collaborative herein.
The problem is not that we want to put a label on this new type of patient, a patient who knows how to move online, you can search and ask other professionals and patients, and even read magazines. The problem is that the health system is not ready for these patients, and now we are full of care and monitoring processes and monitoring but keep in mind that some patients want more information, more autonomy, more communication with your health. And we can not give …
What’s more, some professionals are lost in these patients, they know how to treat them, to give, to offer, and make decisions jointly. It is necessary to take another step and be a “partner” of the patient, his “partner” means a person who guides and points the target but does not give any fact. Does it depend on the change of university education in college? Perhaps the fundamental problem is that we still want to treat diseases (diagnosis and treatment) and we do not realize that patients are people, with their concerns and needs.
The health system must understand that everything revolves and everything changes, and as indicated in this graph (extracted from the article “Adoption, non-adoption, and abandonment of a Personal Electronic Health Record: Case Study of HealthSpace”), which before was wrong seen, now associated with a high quality health. And so the new health model this information age begins to the importance of social networks (face and online), to self-care and the patient’s role in their own condition.