“Patient empowerment is a finely-tuned skill health providers and patients develop together”
Many would agree, that feeling in control is vastly important when dealing with our own health issues, however most people will admit that they have allowed themselves to become passive recipients in a medical model of ‘patient care‘, where our fundamental rights can be diminished, ignored, or at worst overridden. By giving over our power and placing our health totally in the hands of others is a scary proposition in itself and one which can leave us ‘lulled into a false sense of security’, ultimately leaving us with very little control over our own circumstances.
“Patient empowerment is a process that helps people gain control over their own lives and increases their capacity to act on issues that they themselves define as important.”
‘Patient Empowerment’ is a new paradigm with dual responsibilities, having the potential to change the way we think about the doctor-patient relationship. The health care system—meaning all parties involved in the health care decision-making process—needs to develop a mutual understanding of the concept and its benefits, with medical professionals empowering patients to take co-responsibility for the management of their condition.
Redefining roles in the modern era is about maintaining an ‘equal balance of power‘, where patients have a voice and where medical practitioners are there to educate and teach their patients, with the Hippocratic Oath referring to the importance of ‘teaching and mentoring‘!! The majority of people are often too overwhelmed to ask pertinent questions that are meaningful to them, therefore patients can feel trapped in a system that is set up to create dependency, dis-empowerment and lack of self-belief!!
“Empowering patients means enabling them to make good use of their available knowledge by providing tools, techniques, and support”
In this ‘new age of person-centered care’, the future is looking much brighter, with patients taking on a much more active role in their health care whilst health care practitioners inspire and support patients to adopt a role of ‘shared decision maker’, rather than continuing to promote adherence to a traditional ‘doctor knows best‘ philosophy.