Patients should feel engaged in their care, be involved in decision-making, and have clear information and tools to help them take care of themselves at home. Evidence has shown that patients engaged in their health demonstrate improvements in their ability to self-manage their care, better outcomes and experiences in hospitals, and lower costs of care.
At Partners, we have implemented a set of programs to help make our system more approachable and our care more accessible for patients. Our goal is to increase the engagement and activation of our patients to improve their experience and the quality of care we provide.
Patient Engagement Videos
We have collaborated with vidscrip™, a web-based platform that allows providers and staff members to film educational videos about various healthcare topics, customized to their specific populations. Each video is a series of short, single-topic clips featuring a patient's own healthcare provider answering commonly asked questions about a condition, treatment or procedure. Patients can watch these videos before and after seeing their providers, to help stay on track with their health and retain more of the information provided during clinical interactions.
Shared Decision Making Tools
Medical decisions are complicated, and should be made along with input from healthcare providers, patients, and caregivers. The goal of our shared decision making program is to provide patients and providers access to evidence-based decision aids to help patients learn more about their care options, and to make decisions that better align with their preferences and care goals. These interactive, multimedia materials are meant to supplement the conversations which occur every day between patients and providers, and to help guide patients through complicated decisions.
For more information on shared decision making, watch a video from Massachusetts General Hospital.
Online Patient Communities
Many patients need support and information from sources outside of the healthcare system. For example, peers can provide perspectives that may lead to better care decisions and experiences. By offering our patients access to PatientsLikeMe, an on-line network that allows patients to connect with others who have the same disease or condition and track and share their own experiences, we are helping our patients learn from each other and be part of a supportive community. Involvement with an online patient community facilitates and improves tracking of symptoms, self-management of care, communication, and education.