As a global Digital Health community, how can we better develop usable content and support our providers while focusing on the patient's perspective?
After talking with Jason, I thought more about being a patient-centric champion. I thought about what it means to be a patient advocate. I can empathize with a patient that’s sick probably feels like being out of control in some ways. I think about the patient in a hospital setting being pushed in a wheelchair, moving at a speed and in a direction, which they have no control. Our patient waits for people to bring them a drink of water, a bite to eat, their medications, and maybe even oxygen to breathe right. There are those good days when this is humbling and bad days when this is humiliating. I first think about keeping a patient safe physically and forget about keeping the patient safe emotionally.
We are in the business of health-CARE and I think we forget about the “CARE” part sometimes because of the demands placed on us for “wellness-productivity” and the amount we must accomplish in our 8, 10, 12 hour (or more) days.
I think an important part of being Patient-Centric is thinking ahead. For example, be sure to explain to the patient and family the list of their medications and your knowledge of side effects, maybe not feeling well, nausea, headaches, and helping the patient to feel more confident in their therapy based on your helpful predictions of what they might experience.
We hear about adherence all the time and how so many of our patients return to the hospital because they didn’t follow up on their medication therapies. From the Patient’s perspective – we think they will remember the instructions and or read the instructions but chances are they will have forgotten by the time they reach their car. After all – they’re relieved to be out of the hospital but don’t realize the true healing time is after they leave the hospital and are at home. Remember this is YOUR patient as much as the doctor. A phone call to their home 2 days after initial therapy could make the difference between healing and readmission.
Striving for excellence is not an easy feat. It’s one day at a time, one patient at a time. For me, it’s one podcast at a time, and one blog post as I write I think of you – the Pharmacists and Health-CARE provider who’s the most trusted wellness provider to so many of the lives you touch. Strive for excellence everyday and be proud of your work and the health-CARE you provide your patients.
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