Empowered patients

Empowered patients

  • Posted On : 4/3/2019 10:12 AM

A patient who leaves a physician’s office and starts their new plan of action is an empowered patient. A patient who consistently seeks guidance and understanding is an empowered patient. An empowered patient continues to seek knowledge in the best way possible.  

What are empowered patients?

An empowered patient is one that takes action with their health. This patient is in control of their decisions and overall well being. This patient is informed, engaged and active in their health. This is a patient who will consistently ask questions, dig deeper to understand their diagnosis or learn more about their medications.

In an evolving healthcare industry, it’s important for patients to start taking control of their health. What are these patients specifically seeking?

  • Knowledge: If a patient is presented with all the knowledge behind a diagnosis then this patient can make better decisions for themselves.

  • Literacy: A patient with the right knowledge is one that is literate in their health. This means the patients will be able to understand the concerns and outcomes to all decisions they need to make.  

  • Self-efficiency: An empowered patient wants to have the ability to change their outcome. This can be simple  personal health goals that are mutually agreed upon between a patient and their physician.

  • Respect: A patient is like a consumer. The moment the consumer isn’t respected or cared for is the consumer will find another business. A patient wants to feel respected by healthcare professionals to help create and foster a respectful relationship.

  • The ability to make informed decisions: The more knowledge, literacy and tools in place for a patient, the easier it will be to make informed decisions about their health and treatment options. If a patient is presented with an ultimatum, then this can cause confusion and negative feelings, and possibly the patient not getting the procedure or recommended medicine. Ultimately, this can help decrease patient disruption in the healthcare industry.

An empowered patient in our digital health era is a new type of patient. As technology, robots and automation continue to advance in the healthcare industry, it’s imperative for patients to become engaged and empowered.

The healthcare industry

Telemedicine

Telemedicine technology and practices continue to be the leading technology in the healthcare industry. Telemedicine technology allows for patients to engage better with their physicians and specialists. This creates a better line of communication between the patient and physician which helps to create a respectful relationship that can help a patient become more knowledgeable in their diagnosis.  

Encouragement

One of the biggest notions patients are seeking is encouragement from their physicians. This encouragement deals with patients feeling comfortable to share their concerns without feeling dismissed. An example of this is a patient who is supposed to be changing their diet, exercising and taking new medication.

This patient should feel empowered to share their changes in their eating habits and exercise routine. The patient can share their fitness watch results or show their daily journal. An empowered patient is one that takes action to help change their diagnosis and continues to seek guidance and learn from their physician.

Plan of action

Using the same example above: how can a physician or nurse help a patient with a plan of action?

This patient is working out, eating healthy and has continued with their medication, but what is the plan from here? Should this patient start to workout more? Should they add certain foods into their diet? Is there more this patient could be doing? A plan of action can help an empowered patient stay on this path or help a new patient to start feeling empowered.

An empowered patient is an informed patient. It’s critical for patients to take control of their health for the better.

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