The recent progress in the fields of medicine and technology has increased the longevity of humans considerably. This is a good thing for humankind, but longer living means we need to deal with ailments that come along with it. The top medical facilitators in the world recommend Patient Empowerment as a solution to understand the medical attention required by your body.
What is Patient Empowerment?
With the increase in lifestyle diseases like Diabetes, Heart ailments, COPD, Cancers, and Alzheimers, it is beneficial for both the patient and the medical facility to bring awareness about the cure and medical condition for a hassle-free interaction and treatment. As more and more people are being affected by these conditions and are living with it longer than before, the hospitals are finding it hard to manage the patient and their family’s psyche. When the patient and their family are aware of the medical condition, it eases the process of treatment and promotes a better state of well-being. The system where the patient acquires knowledge through the facilitator and from the patient’s own experience about the medical condition puts the patient in a position to take decisions regarding the condition in their hands. It empowers the patient for choosing the right treatment, facility, and doctor.
Benefits for the patient through empowerment
- Better knowledge of the medical condition gives the patient a confidence.
- The patient has the power to choose the hospital, clinic or facility of their liking based on valid information.
- The patient does not feel handicapped when the healthcare professionals communicate about the condition in medical terms.
- Being well informed about the treatment and processes that need to be undertaken gives the patient an upper hand in choosing the professional.
- When the doctor or healthcare professional recommends a change in lifestyle because of the condition, it is better accepted by the patient, as he is aware of the medical condition and does not feel burdened.
- The patient is more committed to the medication and lifestyle changes, which bring an overall positivity towards the treatment. The patient and the facilitator enjoy each other’s association.
- The patient can confidently ask questions about their treatment, as they are aware of the process.
- The patient needs to consult a healthcare professional only when necessary, as he is well informed about his condition; the anxiety of being well and the money spent unnecessarily can be reduced.
How can medical facilitators help empower patients?
- Proper awareness of self-treatment or provide self-care for the chronic condition the patient is suffering from is the key responsibility of the medical facilitator. For example, it is a common practice nowadays for diabetic patients to give shots of insulin injections, which are self-monitored, by the patients themselves. If proper timings or correct techniques are not shown or taught to the patient, it could prove fatal!
- A system to regularly monitor the patient’s progress should be initiated by the medical facility too. It is a joint effort that the patient and the facility need to take to ensure the success of the program.
- Hospitals, clinics, and healthcare centers need to make awareness material, which is in the form of fliers, pamphlets or booklets, and they should distribute it to the patients. They must also have healthcare representatives and professionals attending each patient to explain the illness and the pros and cons of the treatment involved. It is always preferred to involve the immediate family while briefing the patients.
Patient empowerment is a considerably new program and it is still in its trial phases. Many professionals support it and many are against it as not all the lifestyle diseases can be attended this way. However, the progress of the program solely rests on the symbiotic relationship between the patient and the care providing system.