MHS health care professionals hear a lot about patient engagement, but what does it mean? How can health care professionals involve the patient in their care? And what can patients do to speak up and share what they want to do as it relates to their care?
Patient engagement is about dignity and respect, information sharing, participation and collaboration. Effective patient engagement can reduce length of stay, decrease adverse events, reduce malpractice claims and more.
The following tips for patients and providers can help make any patient engagement a positive experience
--Ask questions. Don’t hesitate to ask questions and voice your concerns until you understand the answers.
--Be honest. Tell your provider all the medications you are taking, any allergies you may have and anything different about your health no matter how irrelevant it may seem. You are the expert about you; providers can’t recommend an effective treatment plan without all the details.
--Understand the results of any procedure or test. Don’t assume the results are normal. Ask questions about what the results mean for your care.
--Understand your treatment options. Ask questions until you understand your options and tell your provider which one you are most comfortable with.
--Repeat back what you understand. When your provider asks if you have any questions, repeat back what they have shared to ensure you’re not forgetting anything.
--Make yourself approachable and provide a welcoming, supportive environment. Show compassion, listen and build trust.
--Engage patients as equal partners in safety improvement and care design activities. Remember, patients make all sorts of decisions every day from what to eat to exercise and are agents in their health care.
--Understand what matters to the patient. Find out what they value, provide them the complete information on the benefits and side effects of the treatment options available to them and ask them what they are more comfortable doing. Ask questions and listen to what treatment option they prefer.
--Communicate clearly. Provide clear information, apologies, and support to patients and families when things go wrong. And ask patients to repeat back what they heard to ensure they understand the information you’ve provided.
--Have you taken the pledge? Whether you’re a patient or a provider, make the commitment to stand united for patient safety here.
--There’s still time for MHS staff to register for the Joint VA/DoD PSAW Webinar series and learn about the leading practices the Army, Navy, Air Force and National Capital Region are using to improve quality and patient safety. DoD sessions are today! See our calendar of events for more information.
--MHS staff, don’t forget to register for the DoD PSP webinar tomorrow from 2-3 p.m. EDT. See our calendar of events for more information.
--Like us on Facebook for more patient safety tips and resources!
--Check out the PSAW web page to learn more about activities happening this week.
If you have questions, please e-mail us at DHA.firstname.lastname@example.org.
DoD Patient Safety Program Team