Don’t Run Away From Patient Empowerment

There once was a time when accessing healthcare information was a difficult task to achieve for those who were not involved in the medical industry. Now, there are plenty of websites that allow patients to have access to medical information. During the past years, when patients walked into the hospital they would likely be given their medicine according to what they have told the doctors. There wouldn’t be any complaints or questions asked because they wouldn’t really know what to challenge. People wouldn’t bring their own information into the conversation with their doctor because they wouldn’t have any information to discuss.

This has all changed because of various reasons:

  • Many doctors and healthcare professionals expect patients to ask questions and bring in information. Patients are expected to have a role in their health.
  • Patients and healthcare professionals are expected to make decisions together.
  • Patients have an unlimited amount of access to medical information.

Patient empowermenthas certainly been welcomed, and it looks like it will be here to stay. When patient empowerment is working well, both sides of the medical equation will provide outstanding benefits. Both sides will know that there is a divided responsibility for the patient’s health concerns.

How Can Healthcare Professionals Help Patients Empower Themselves?

When a patient is faced with something that is serious or can be life-threatening, a healthcare professional can recommend the services of other professionals who can provide the guidance a patient will need. A second opinion could be recommended, recommending patients to speak with others who have the same condition, and recommending patients to a hospital counselor or a member of the clergy.

In the conversation with the patients, try making relevant conversation with him or her. Ask things about work life and family life. Sometimes you can find hints and clues in what they discuss about their life. You may even realize the real reason they are in your office. When you can speak to your patients about other things besides their health, you can establish a trusting relationship. If a patient doesn’t have trust in you, it will be difficult for him or her to have confidence in you during their medical hardship.

When patients feel like they are supported, they will be encouraged to be more active in their health. A patient should not walk away from the medical facility feeling like none of their questions were answered. When patients have the confidence, they will have a better understanding of the responsibility they have to take for their health and their life.

Both sides will have a high level of responsibility, respect, and trust for one another.


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