When patients feel disrespected in a medical exam room, they will be less likely to follow instructions they receive from a doctor. Research from the Altarum Institute revealed this fundamental finding.

The chart shows that feeling respected reduces  a patient’s diabetes medication adherence by a factor of nearly 2x, and is a risk factor for poorly managed diabetes.

Furthermore, consumers who feel disrespected by providers are three times more likely to not believe doctors are accurate sources of information than consumers who do feel respected. And, patients with diabetes who do not feel respected are one-third more likely
to have poorly controlled diabetes than patients who feel respected by providers.

Exactly one year ago, Altarum published this research, sponsored by Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and Oliver Wyman, in a report called, Right Place, Right Time.

“Consumers believe online booking, easy comparisons of procedures and facilities, and plain language explanations would be especially useful improvements to their health care experiences,” Altarum summarized.

Now, watch this ad from Santander Bank.

Health Populi’s Hot Points: I had the opportunity to moderate a panel at last week’s Digital Health Summit during the CES 2018 in Las Vegas. My panel of participants included Marc Leibowitz from Johnson & Johnson, Dr. Lewis Levy of Teladoc/Best Doctors, and Rob Le Bras-Brown of Nokia. We brainstormed “Power to the People” in health care: the state of and conditions for consumer empowerment in health care. All the shiny new digital health things in the growing world of connected health-tech won’t move the needle on public, population, or individual health (or costs) if patients – consumers, caregivers, all — don’t feel engaged or activated with their health care.

While we covered the landscape of digital health technology, I noted before the end of the panel the statistics from the Altarum study: that trust and respect are precursors for health engagement. No wonder so many consumers look to friends and family before doctors, pharma, and researchers for health information and peer-to-peer support. As health care migrates to more virtual forms via telehealth and internet connections, clinicians’ “webside manner,” health plan personalization, and other user-facing experiences will become even more important.

The Santander message speaks to our humanity, empathy, and financial wellness — all components of the Holy Grail of health engagement.

It helps, of course, that Piggy is so darned cute.