"What [we need] is a radical change in the way medicine is practiced," says Angela Coulter, director of global initiatives at the Informed Medical Decisions Foundation and author of Engaging Patients in Healthcare, her latest book. Angela's book is a comprehensive, evidence-based textbook that explores the ways in which patient engagement can improve overall health care.
The author discusses the recent focus on the need for patient engagement in health care, specifically the need for patients to play an active role in their own health care. Patients should be fully informed about their health care and work with their provider to make the decision that is right for them. The author discusses how health literacy, shared decision making and quality improvement are all related to the concept of patient engagement. The author also focuses on evidence in support of interventions designed to engage patients in their health care.
Nothing about me without me was the guiding principle adopted by 64 participants from 29 countries at a 1998 Salzburg Global Seminar convened to develop ideas for improving the quality of health care by involving patients. The catchphrase has now resurfaced in the coalition governments new plan for the NHS in England, which sees patient choice and shared decision making as key mechanisms to create a patient centred and quality focused NHS.
The shared decision making process broken down into six steps for health care providers to use as a guide in consultations with their patients.
Imprecisely worded and poorly designed survey questions have caused considerable confusion about the degree to which patients want to be involved in medical decisions. When questions are worded such that patients understand that they are not being asked to make decisions requiring technical clinical information and particularly when respondents have been given basic information about the decision they are facing, survey data are extremely consistent; most patients want to be informed and to play a direct and active role in the decision making process.
Specific aim 1: To leverage existing staff resources to increase the Informed Medical Decisions Foundation diabetes video distribution. Specific aim 2: To increase video viewing rates by patients. Specific aim 3: To assess physician & patient behavior subsequent to video viewing.
It is hypothesized that the introduction of decision aids will improve the quality of treatment decisions regarding fracture by leading to bisphosphonate start eliciting patient involvment in the decision making process. It is hypothesized that patients will become more involved in the decision making process and decisions will be more consistent with patients' lifestyles--decision aids (DAs) will lead to bisphosphonate start and adherence in patients at high risk of fracture and to patients stopping medication or not starting in patients at low risk.
Medicine is not one-size-fits-all. In fact, each patient's condition, situation and preferences are different. To help empower people to be fully informed and active participants in their health care, the Foundation has developed a Shared Decision-Making® program called Getting the Healthcare that's Right for You.