In this article, I discus the fourth driver to successful patient transitions, patient education.
Understanding the patient experience, as it relates to learning new information and skills to make sound health management decisions, is an important first step in developing learning plans with patients. Do we understand how their disease process has affected their lives, and how they are coping with the life changes that accompany it? Patients may feel overwhelmed with too much information to absorb. Perhaps they can’t understand the medical jargon, leaving them feeling confused and apprehensive. They may be wondering how they will be able to adapt to their new normal.
Engaging patients in their own healthcare challenges us, as healthcare professionals, to shift how we perceive patient education delivery. We need to move from viewing the people we teach as patients to recognizing them as persons and partners. We need to help patients move from being passive recipients of information, to persons who actively engage in dialogue with their health care providers about their health, treatments, expectations and goals.
Read Neil Gulsvig’s full thoughts on patient education at McKnight’s.