We have been at the forefront of research on
creating new partnerships that put patients' needs and goals first.
Under the traditional model of health care, physicians were the decision makers, and patients the passive recipients of care. Today, the physician-provider relationship is undergoing a dramatic transformation. There is a growing consensus among health care professionals that fully engaging patients and their families in care planning and treatment decisions leads to better care experiences and better health outcomes. This insight is especially meaningful for people with chronic conditions, such as diabetes or heart disease, who account for close to 90% of all health care spending in the United States.
At same time, advances in technology that enable the real-time tracking of symptoms, disease activity and treatments are revolutionizing the way health researchers are able to collect data. The result of these two evolutions coming together is the development of a “learning health system” in which the patient’s needs and goals— and the best current evidence—guide every treatment choice, and in which patient experience and the outcomes of real health care practice, in turn, generate the data that researchers need to improve health care. At The Dartmouth Institute, our researchers have been at the forefront of research on these new patient-provider partnerships.
Adapting a learning health system model from the successful Swedish Rheumatology Quality Registry approach—and working in partnership with specialty societies, patient advocacy groups, and foundations—The Dartmouth Institute is implementing an innovative, new model for two chronic conditions: cystic fibrosis and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). New initiatives for patients suffering from rheumatoid arthritis and those in need of palliative care will start soon. Our researchers also are working to expand the geographic boundaries of coproduction through the creation of an International Coproduction Health Network (ICoHN).