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Keywords: IOM, continuous learning, best care, patient centered care, health care reform, EMRs, health data, access to data, e-patient, patient engagement.
Citation: O’Malley K. IOM calls for enlisting patients to improve care and lower costs. J Participat Med. 2012 Oct 10; 4:e24.
Published: October 10, 2012.
Competing Interests: The author has declared that no competing interests exist.

The Institute of Medicine (IOM) recently released a consensus report, Best Care at Lower Cost: The Path to Continuously Learning Health Care in America, which presents specific and very “participatory” recommendations for improving the efficiency and quality of the US health care system. The current system’s inefficiency results in almost 75,000 needless deaths a year, according to the report, so the stakes are high. The IOM recommends a change in the culture of health care from one that rewards care based simply on the delivery of services and products, to one that rewards care based on outcomes and encourages the provision of best care at lower cost.

The report’s key concept of “continuous learning” is a call for all stakeholders in health care to use new knowledge to respond to problems. Such knowledge includes technology, research, and knowledge gleaned from individual care experiences. Thus, the IOM’s recommendations emphasize the capture and accessibility of clinical information using a digital infrastructure; improving availability of current best evidence to support clinical decision making by providers and patients; and patient-centered care.

A brief version of the report and a summary are free and the full report is available for purchase.

Copyright: © 2012 Kathleen O’Malley. Published here under license by The Journal of Participatory Medicine. Copyright for this article is retained by the author, with first publication rights granted to the Journal of Participatory Medicine. All journal content, except where otherwise noted, is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License. By virtue of their appearance in this open-access journal, articles are free to use, with proper attribution, in educational and other non-commercial settings.