Patients are automatically empowered when they are respected as being people who are entitled to understand and know about their care. There is ample research that shows that health outcomes are better and it is encouraged for patients to build a relationship with their healthcare professional.
The term ‘patient empowerment’ is among the top buzzwords in health care circles, yet 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. 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.
Patient advocates find that empowered patients do their research, ask questions, and go to appointments organized. Empowered patients are willing to self-advocate with self-confidence, communication skills, compromise, research skills, and desire a relationship with their healthcare provider. Patients understood as individuals with unique concerns can receive tailored care and not the one size fits all protocols.
Empowerment starts with a lifestyle that supports good health. On a daily basis, we take responsibility for decisions of hygiene, diet, exercise, spiritual and intellectual growth and social connections. Our actions are reflective of the type of patient we become. Ask questions and learn how you can be the best version of you! Learn the best practices for supporting good health and reach out to the healthcare professionals that you trust and make them part of your family’s support team.