The Potential of Crowdsourcing to Improve Patient-Centered Care
Crowdsourcing (CS) is the outsourcing of a problem or task to a crowd. Although patient-centered care (PCC) may aim to be tailored to an individual’s needs, the uses of CS for generating ideas, identifying values, solving problems, facilitating research, and educating an audience represent powerful roles that can shape both allocation of shared resources and delivery of personalized care and treatment. CS can often be conducted quickly and at relatively low cost. Pitfalls include bias, risks of research ethics, inadequate quality of data, inadequate metrics, and observer-expectancy effect. Health professionals and consumers in the US should increase their attention to CS for the benefit of PCC. Patients’ participation in CS to shape health policy and decisions is one way to pursue PCC itself and may help to improve clinical outcomes through a better understanding of patients’ perspectives. CS should especially be used to traverse the quality-cost curve, or decrease costs while preserving or improving quality of care.