Relational value: bridging the worldview gap between patients and health systems

Fam Med. 2001 May;33(5):393-8.


Since its inception, family medicine has understood the importance of a holistic approach to health care and the benefits stemmingfrom integrating health care resources. This approach and its benefits have not, however, been fully appreciated by consumers, payers, and policy makers, especially in today's dynamic marketplace. Articulating the benefits of an integrated approach is more likely to be effective if done in the language of the marketplace and in a framework that helps them understand the critical importance of relationships that are needed for integrating consumers' needs with resources in systems. By using the concept of "value" recognized within the marketplace, this article creates a new framework for visualizing integration and relationships. It then embodies the benefits within a new term called relational value. With this concept and terminology, primary care physicians should be able to more effectively communicate to administrators and policy makers the added value of a holistic approach. Lastly, two ideas for creating relational value are discussed to help point the way to new health care delivery models.

MeSH terms

  • Delivery of Health Care, Integrated*
  • Family Practice*
  • Holistic Health
  • Humans
  • Physician-Patient Relations*
  • Social Values
  • United States