Patient empowerment is defined in multiple ways depending on the context and objectives. “Health literacy is crucial,” says healthcare analyst, Matthew Loxton (@mloxton), “and you cannot get empowerment without health literacy.” Soo Hun (@soo_cchsc), Programme Manager at the Centre for Connected Health and Social Care, believes “digital is a key aspect but health literacy, even basic literacy is a must. Not all things digital requires tech know-how but all health information requires basic literacy. What Does It Mean To Be An Empowered Patient? 3011 XA Rotterdam How you define patient empowerment depends on who you ask. By watching these videos, patients are able to understand how the decisions they make can shape their way to recovery. BUT there was/is still a culture of the ‘person’ stops at the door of the hospital and that person is now a patient.’”  As antibiotic resistance campaigner, Vanessa Carter (@_FaceSA) says, “I might be a patient but I am also a creative director by profession. To help us understand you, what are your interests: “Being informed is key to empowerment for me,” says specialist palliative care social worker, Deirdre McKenna (@KennaDeirdre). Patient empowerment is a process where patients get full control over their lives and increase their capability to make decisions on important parts of the patient’s journey. This distinction is important because empowerment cannot be imposed ‘top down’ (although it can be facilitated). Did you enjoy reading this post? BlueNovius uses functional cookies to make this website work properly. We need to design technology that meets their usability needs AND use whatever suits them best be it old tech or new.” Soo Hun agrees that “the tech savvy few have quicker and better access to health information and therefore can have choice and autonomy. “Even the strongest can quickly feel disempowered by a deterioration in health,” she says. Socio‐historical context. What is key to the discussion on patient empowerment is that this initiative “demonstrates how a simple intervention can have an enormous impact, even absent advanced technology” (my emphasis). Patient empowerment exists as an action patients can take to improve themselves, but the key to achieving that improvement is having a group, organization, or state enshrine and recognize those rights.” In fact, the Alma Ata Declaration defined civic involvement in healthcare as both a right and a duty: “The people have the right and duty to participate individually and collectively in the planning and implementation of their healthcare.” The Declaration highlights the collective dimension of empowerment and the importance of action towards change. Patient empowerment, defined as ‘a process through which people gain greater control over decisions and actions affecting their health’ (World Health Organization) is a key theme within global health and social care strategies. The nurses have a great influence on patients’ acquisition of the aspect of the empowerment by assisting the patient to achieve mastery in managing their health. According to the World Health Organization, patient empowerment is “a process through which people gain greater control over decisions and actions affecting their health.” Providers can increase their patients’ involvement in many ways, such as sharing patient education materials and making sure they have a say in their treatment plans. This term is used a lot but GPs often say they don’t have time in their busy, pressurised days to include it. What is Patient Empowerment? Empowerment does not happen in a vacuum: it is a two-way process. According to the European Patients Forum, patient empowerment includes five aspects: Self-efficacy relates to the feeling of control and patient’s willingness to tackle new tasks. By working together to think internationally and act nationally we can draw on each other’s experiences so that as individuals and as a collective we can work towards better outcomes for all patients.  To quote Terri Coutee, “When we gather our collective empowered voices, we feel a strong responsibility to give voice to others.”. We help companies educate physicians With MedExplainers, patients can get informed about their diagnosis, disease and treatment – in just 90 seconds. Without access to their data, trustworthy sources of medical knowledge, and the power to execute their choices in achieving health goals, empowerment is an empty phrase.”  Triona Murphy echoes this systemic challenge by clarifying that “the whole system needs to understand the patient’s right to be equal partners in their care. 1991;17:37-41). It’s also morally the right thing to do!”  Patient Critical Co-op also believes in the moral imperative that “empowerment essentially means a group or society recognizing your right. The term “patient empowerment” is among the top buzzwords in health care circles, but as with many buzzwords, they can mean different things to different people.  The term is most often used to emphasize the value of having patients assert greater control over their health and health care. For lack of health literacy of confidence, they do not want to have any part in the decision-making process – the HCP is the one in charge. In a recent Twitter chat, I set out to explore what it means to be an empowered patient today. “We need to create conditions whereby people can “empower” themselves.” Seána Talbot agrees that patient empowerment “doesn’t mean ‘giving’ people power.’ Rather it’s about ‘enabling’ them to recognise and use their power.”, Perhaps the term ‘participation’ (which is a more active state) is preferable? It is defined as a process that helps people gain control over their own lives and increases their capacity to … Did you enjoy reading this post? Patient empowerment is one of the key elements of patient-centred healthcare. Interestingly enough, it’s not the patients who have a hard time adopting decision aids – it’s actually the physicians. Empowerment is “the level of choice, influence and control that users of mental health services can exercise over events in their lives.” (World Health Organisations) Empowerment can be developed by: being respectful and non-judgemental building a relationship where the person feels comfortable to discuss their feelings and what they want Important factors leading to patient empowerment include well-informed, health PS Communication er et nordisk markedsføringsbureau. By watching these videos, patients are able to understand how the decisions they make can shape their way to recovery. Health literacy is the degree to which people possess the ability to comprehend and make use of health information about their bodies, conditions, and prescribed medical interventions. “Knowing your personal medical data is strength, as is education about your illness,” she says. Norah also calls attention to the technology barriers. Patient empowerment is defined as helping people to discover and use their own innate ability to gain mastery over their diabetes (Funnell MM, Anderson RM. Some need handholding because they get anxious about the responsibility.”, Digital leader and physiotherapist, Linda Vernon (@VernonLinda), believes “for authentic patient engagement to occur, we need to establish what the patient brings to the table, something akin to an individual, personal take on Asset-Based Community Development – perhaps we could think of it as Asset-Based Personal Development, supporting the patient to tap into their own internal, community or environmental resources to improve their health and wellbeing.  Engaging patients should be as much about exploring what they can do for themselves and to help the health and care system, as what we professionals can offer to the patient.”, The healthcare professional is the most important contact point for the patient and the system and (dis)empowerment often manifests in the patient/professional relationship. “Empowerment is an inevitable shift that is happening anyway, “she says. Your needs may change over time. Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia (CLL) It recognizes that while healthcare professionals are the experts in their knowledge of a disease, patients are the experts by experience. Healthcare communicator, Michi Endemann (@MichiEndemann) makes the distinction that “talking about empowerment as a healthy person is quite different than talking about it as a patient.”  As patient advocate, Rachel Lynch (@rachelmlynch) puts it, “it can be quite tiring being empowered when all you want to be is well.” A sentiment echoed by Kathy Kastner (@KathyKastner), founder of Best Endings, who clarifies how “to me ‘empowered’ assumes I’m feeling physically and mentally up to the task of ‘being engaged’. The concept of health literacy is of paramount importance as patients are beginning to play increasingly participatory […] No one recognises me on that level. BlueNovius uses cookies to help visitors to easily find information on this website. I would like to acknowledge the assistance of Dr Liam Farrell in facilitating the Twitter discussion on which this article is based. In a way, patient empowerment puts patients at the heart of health services so that they are able to derive the maximum benefits from it. , patient empowerment includes five aspects: One of the keys to patient empowerment is educating patients that they have an important role in the course of their treatment. Patient Empowerment Revisited: What Does It Truly Mean To Patients. Patient empowerment is a process where patients get full control over their lives and increase their capability to make decisions on important parts of the patient’s journey.  WHO defines empowerment as “a process through which people gain greater control over decisions and actions affecting their health” (WHO 1998). Patient empowerment is more easily applied in people who have been through a health scare or survived a cardiovascular event. Read. Finding and being part of a patient community can be an important step on the path to empowerment. Patient empowerment puts the patient in the heart of services. The aim of empowering patients is to help them develop self-awareness, self-care and promote the understanding that patients can be equal partners in their healthcare decisions. . If you want to read more articles like this one, feel free to, subscribe to our digital pharma marketing newsletter. (Malin and Teasdale,1991). Do you too want to create a patient empowerment campaign? is staggeringly low and physicians are struggling with an increasing number of patients, this is anything but easy. Matthew Loxton points to how seldom we have metrics to track whether patient goals are being met. MedExplainer is an animated medical explainer video, laying out the most important aspects of a certain health condition. How does it relate to health literacy? It entails putting power back into the patients’ hands, so that they make decisions together with their physicians.  That said, Carol McCullough points out that while “not everyone may want to be empowered, for the health service to be sustainable, more people are going to have to take on more responsibility.”, Medical Doctor and Chair of Technical Advisory Board, Pavilion Health, Dr Mary Ethna Black (@DrMaryBlack) points to the inevitability of the shift towards patient empowerment. Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML) I’ve seen powerhouses who cannot bring themselves to take responsibility for their own health.”, Mental health advocate and co-founder of #DepressionHurts, Norah (@TalentCoop) calls attention to the fragile nature of empowerment. The OpenNotes initiative began in 2010 as a year-long demonstration project, with 105 primary care physicians at three diverse U.S. health care centers inviting 20,000 patients to read visit notes online through patient portals. Findings from the study suggest that shared notes may improve communication, safety, and patient-doctor relationships, and may help patients become more actively involved with their health and health care.  Evidence also shows a sixty percent improvement in the patient’s ability to adhere to medications, a major problem with managing chronic pain conditions. Maternity campaigner, SeánaTalbot (@SeanaTalbot) believes that “those with long-term conditions and access to technology have a better chance of accessing information and support.”  Indeed many patients have found in the online world of peer-to-peer healthcare an environment in which they are supported to become a more empowered participant in their healthcare.  The global participation of those who shared their views on the topic shows that patient empowerment is something of universal interest. While you cannot empower a patient, nurses can use strategies that will assist patients in this process. Coping skills are the skills necessary for patients to deal with their health condition. Diabetes Educ. Put simply, these are educational materials that inform patients about the importance of their own decisions in improving their health outcomes. should come after the conversation which is key to empowerment.”, Cornell University defines digital literacy as “the ability to find, evaluate, utilize, share, and create content using information technologies and the Internet.”  It’s interesting to note that opinions vary on whether digital literacy is essential to patient empowerment. “At the first point of contact with the patient,” she says, “education on how, what, why, where and when in relation to a condition or medication should be talked through fully. Some doctors use medical terminology which is incomprehensible to patients, while some patients have low health literacy skills or come from cultural backgrounds that lack a tradition of individuals making autonomous decisions. August 15, 2016 - Patient empowerment is all too often seen as a characteristic an individual does or does not possess, similar to being funny or not. Ideally, the patient needs to be highly informed about their disease and course of treatment. Ideally patients should get opportunities to change their minds to participate in decision-making later.”, Empowerment is a non-binary, non-linear process. All other tools (digital, leaflets etc.) According to the WHO, patient empowerment is “a process through which people gain greater control over decisions and actions affecting their health.” In the past, patient empowerment has been interpreted to mean supporting patients with educational materials such as pamphlets about disease prevention. When unsure about where to go or what to do next they will feel confident to ask questions of the healthcare professionals providing their care.  This confidence comes easier to some than others, and even the most confident may need guidance from their doctors in managing their disease. It can be seen as both a pre-requisite for and an outcome of patient-centred healthcare – a goal as well as a process. Medical Director and Consultant Surgeon, Dermot O’Riordan (@dermotor) believes to truly empower patients “we should be aiming for the “Open Notes” principles of default sharing of all documents.”    As patient advocate and CEO of Medistori Personal Health Record, Olive O’Connor (@MediStori) points out, “the patient is at the very core of every single service they use – they know everything there is to know about themselves, in the home and outside of it. Examples include decisions about surgery, medications, self-management, and screening and diagnostic tests. As I look back on my own empowerment journey, my progress was advanced step-by-step by learning more about my disease initially from doctors, then through Internet searches, and most helpful of  all  through patient peers online. The most common medium for decision aids is video, as outlined by a study in Mass General Hospital in Boston. Another major concern regarding patient empowerment is that it shifts responsibility to the patient instead of the HCP. “ patient empowerment A generic term popular in the UK for encouraging the active participation of patients and carers in choosing management options, including eliciting quality-of-life utilities and preferences by discussion, viewing of interactive videos, etc.” [medical-dictionary] According to the European Patients Forum, patient empowerment includes five aspects: While health scares and cardiovascular events are unfortunate, they are also an opportune time for health care providers to teach and build a team approach between physicians and patients. Understands their health condition and its effect on their body. patient will get informed before the procedures are perform. and improve patient outcomes. Breast Cancer The problem is being heard.”, Patient and community advocate, Triona Murphy (@Murpht01) advises doctors to get to know your patients as individuals. However, if we tip the scales and inquire the patients on what they think the problem is, most will say that none of these issues are critical. There are many challenges facing today’s healthcare, starting from lack of physicians, huge burdens in terms of paperwork, lack of funding, etc. The validity of empirical findings depends on the quality of measures used. Background Patient empowerment has gained considerable importance but uncertainty remains about the best way to define and measure it. There is ample research which suggests that health outcomes are better in patients who are more involved in decisions about their treatment. While access to information is a key driver of patient information, health literacy is  defined as “the degree to which individuals have the capacity to obtain, process, and understand basic health information and services needed to make appropriate health decisions.” (National Library of Medicine).  Health literacy should come before digital literacy. It’s been described as a process, a set of actions, a skill, and a value. Self-efficacy, as it relates to healthcare, is belief in your ability to effect change in outcomes so that you can achieve your personal health goals. The solution – patient empowerment. To reverse that we need to make technology ubiquitous and make health information and choice easily accessible.”, Whilst Vanessa believes it should be “governmental policy to have digital resources in place, for example, disease specific websites / apps supported by health authorities,” Kayoko believes it can start with “tech-savvy advocates (like me) who could help patients learn to use simple digital tools.”, Matthew Loxton sees a core barrier to empowerment to be “the large knowledge/power gradients between patients and health care providers. Patient empowerment should never be an excuse for abandoning or burdening the patient.”, Rather, the empowerment approach, as defined by the European Patient Foundation (EPF) “aims to realise the vision of patients as ‘co-producers’ of health and as integral actors in the health system.”  Caregiver Reinhart Gauss (@ReinhartG) agrees that “patient advocates want to work with not against doctors – to share experiences and to grow in knowledge.”  Vanessa Carter is clear that “we still want our doctors, but they are not there 24/7 so patients need the right tools to make self-care possible.”, Equally, it is about recognizing that there are degrees of involvement and not all patients wish to be ‘empowered.’  There is a spectrum of interest in wanting to assume an active role in care – from being passively receptive to fully engaged. At BlueNovius, we take great pride in delivering our own decision aid solution. is an animated medical explainer video, laying out the most important aspects of a certain health condition. It seems to be so much easier to simply diagnose, treat and move on to the next patient. The World Health Organization (WHO) defines patient empowerment as a process. BlueNovius B.V. They see me as an underdog.”. An empowered patient is a patient that does not look at him/herself only as a user of health services. We’ll send you the latest tips, news and updates on digital pharma marketing, once per week. However, as patient literacy is staggeringly low and physicians are struggling with an increasing number of patients, this is anything but easy. Patient empowerment therefore means the independence of patient, information exchange, being aware of patient's needs and choices, retaining their autonomy, respecting their decisions among others. Lung Cancer At the heart of the empowerment approach is seeing the patient-professional relationship as a partnership of equals. Patient empowerment means that the patient gains the highest possible sense of control over what happens to him/her as a patient, always to the extent and to the degree that a patient personally wishes. However, not all is on the patient’s shoulders. Yet patient records are not kept with them!”. What is patient empowerment? It is about designing and delivering health and social care services in a way, which is inclusive and enables citizens to take control of their health care needs. We use analytical- and tracking cookies to optimize your experience on this website, to share content via social media and to tailor advertisements to your preferences. Definition of Patient Empowerment: Actions aiming to educate an individual about one’s disease, to promote shared decision making with professionals, in the extent desired by the individual, and to encourage self-management.  Sharon Thompson (@sharontwriter) believes that “patients should not be pressurised or need to be in a position of ‘power.’ It should be automatic that a patient is central and key to their care. Reach out to us today and find out how we can help you improve patient outcomes and make lives better for physicians and patients. What is patient empowerment? Dr Kit Byatt (@Laconic_doc) agrees. “For older patients simple things like communication (hearing), or uninformed changes are extremely disempowering; as is over reliance on technology for a generation who may not have ‘tech’ understanding or access.”  Tim Delaney (@FrancosBruvva), Head of Pharmacy at a leading hospital in Ireland highlights the fact that “in acute hospitals we treat huge numbers of elderly people whose engagement with social media and new technology is lower. Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma (NHL) Moreover, there needs to exist a high level of health literacy. Apparently not all MDs ‘allow’ this. Patient empowerment requires the active participation of patients, providers, and policymakers – Source . A Stanford Medicine X e-Patient scholar, Marie Ennis O’Connor is an internationally recognized keynote speaker, writer, and consultant on global trends in patient engagement, digital health and participatory medicine. Prostate Cancer Bierstraat 123C “Many patients are experts”, he says, “especially rare disease patients.  I’ve learned from many in my career.”, Building better relationships and seeing the patient as more than ‘just a patient’ was a recurring theme in the Twitter chat. In theory, patient empowerment sounds like an amazing concept where physicians and patients collaborate together. If you want to read more articles like this one, feel free to subscribe to our digital pharma marketing newsletter. Endocrinologist, Iris Thiele Isip Tan, MD (@endocrine_witch) points out that “some of my patients are surprised when I teach them how to adjust/titrate insulin doses.  This shift is due in large part to the use of technology that facilitates increased patient access to information via the Internet, peer-to-peer sharing, consumer health devices, and mobile apps. , and policymakers – Source, as outlined by a study in Mass General Hospital in Boston, etc. That patient empowerment certain problems that arise in practice their health outcomes are better in patients who are involved! Their own decisions in improving their health condition more responsibility for their own decisions in improving their health.... Importance but uncertainty remains about the importance of their treatment are not met! A recent Twitter chat, I set out to us today and find out how we make. Struggling with an increasing number of patients, this is a legitimate concern, does... 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