The World Health Organization defines patient empowerment as “a process in which patients understand their role, are given the knowledge and skills by their health care providers to perform a task in an environment that recognizes community and cultural differences and encourages patient participation.”
What does that really mean? You are and empowered patient if:
- You are actively engaged in using your knowledge, abilities, and skills to manage your own and your family’s health care.
- You communicate effectively with health care professionals.
- You can find, understand, and use high quality health information to meet your health goals.
- You are well prepared for medical appointments and leave understanding your condition, your tests, your treatment plan, and the goals of your medical care.Not there yet?
What steps do you need to take
to become more empowered?
- You can follow your health care professionals’ instructions to improve your health, take medications as provided, and undertake and adhere to recommended therapies.
- You are concerned with your own safety and take steps to ensure that it is maximized.
- You understand the health care options available to you and are well equipped to make informed decisions in collaboration with your health care providers.
- You can find solutions when you encounter barriers to the health care that you need.
- You can navigate within a fractured and overwhelmed health care system to get the care you need.
- You have clarified your values and preferences for health care, have communicated them to your family and health care professionals, and have all your documents prepared and easy to find.
Would you like help with any of this?
Patient Pathways is available to help by teaching, coaching, navigating, and advocating.