Patient empowerment is a powerful force in the health care world. You are fighting to receive effective, productive, and efficient outcomes, so it is highly important that patients are able to take responsibility of their own health care.
Being educated should always be at the top of your plans. However, if patients have the information without being engaged, what will be the purpose? In what ways can you make sure your patients are empowered? How can you help them take control of their health?
You have to remind your patients they have a responsibility over their health. It can be very difficult for them sometimes. Sometimes they may feel lost and confused about health care. Patients have to attend different appointments, they have to meet with different doctors, nurses, and sometimes they will have to meet with a specialist.
Sometimes patients feel there is no point because they are not getting the type of answers they need. However, you can be the link that makes sure they understand this is not always how it goes. You can let your patients know they are the center of all of this communication and activity.
Help them become more engaged; let them know they should not be hesitant to ask questions and seek advice from others. A patient should not feel overwhelmed when it comes to health care. What they should feel is a sense of control.
What can you pass on to your patients to help them empower themselves?
- Encourage them to have folders of their medical records
- Have them write a summary of their health
- Have them create a list of doctors, nurses, and specialists they have seen
- Have them create a list of symptoms, treatments, and medications
It can be a challenge for patients to become engaged and active in their health care, but if you are willing to encourage them and be the link they need, they will start to take control of their own health care.