Patient perspective, a key factor in the design and management of healthcare processes
by Marc Valls, December 14, 2022
Over the past few years, it has become more common to include the patient’s perspective in healthcare processes, increasing initiatives that are centered on using their data and experience throughout the course of the disease: decentralized clinical trials, remote monitoring projects, patient support programs, etc. This enables the development of participatory models in which the patient takes an active part in the management of his or her disease, as noted in our article, “Participatory Medicine: What it is and how it is improving health outcomes”.
These kinds of patient-centered models result in improvements in the management of healthcare systems, as it can be seen that there is a clear relationship between the quality of care in health systems and the inclusion of patient opinions in the associated processes, as noted in the article published in Actedi. When informed about the process and taking part in it, patients feel more committed to the management of the disease, which improves their perception of the attention received, as well as their adherence to treatment, positively impacting their health outcomes.
In fact, involving the patient in the design and management of the healthcare process can reduce hospital admissions and improve the efficacy, efficiency, and quality of the healthcare services, as these are adapted to the patients’ needs and those of their caregivers and family members, as noted in “EFRS Statement on the Importance of Patient Engagement and the Patient Voice within Radiographic Practice”. Consequently, this results in a reduction of hospital costs and an improvement in the experience and general health of the patient.
In order to use the perspective and opinion of the patients in the design, management, and evaluation of healthcare processes, it is important to make use of appropriate initiatives and tools that help them to become part of these processes. According to the Actedi article, some of these approaches could be:
- Developing and encouraging patient groups
- Training patients and caregivers how to better communicate when providing information, experiences, or clinical data.
- Encourage and prompt patients to ask questions and share their opinions.
- Include representatives of patient associations in decision-making teams.
- Carry out information sessions, workshops, and panels.
Digital health is becoming a powerful partner, as it enables the launch of these kinds of initiatives from any location, making them accessible to a greater number of patients. These types of tools, like Caaring®, enable the collection of patients’ opinions and experiences, as well as clinical and quality-of-life data, thus helping to improve the healthcare processes and health outcomes.
In this way, we can see the importance of developing initiatives and health-related projects in which the patients play a part. The purpose is to evolve models that are more efficient and sustainable over the long term, in which communication between healthcare professionals and patients will be a priority. As noted in the article on the Salud Digital site, this will enable the design of interventions and health services that are adapted to the needs of the patients, assuring appropriate adherence to treatments and the resultant improvement in health.