As stated by the World Health Organization, health is more than not being ill but rather “a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.”
Only if empowered patients can achieve the health they deserve. The “e” in e-patient can mean many things, but if health is a basic human right, then empowerment is the only “e” ensuring that right.
Being empowered means being able to meet certain fundamental needs (i.e. time, engagement in shared decision making, knowledge-skills-values- self-esteem, caregivers, medical professionals, friends), which healthcare managers need to put in place before they can make accurate, informed decisions about health.
Doctors also have a hierarchy of needs (i.e. right tools, team coordination, safe work environment, competence, skill development, education and training resources, integrity, diligence, empathy, intelligence, civility, flexibility, mental & physical health).
They need to be healthy first—just like patients. Then, they need the right personal characteristics, training and support to be better able to do their job—helping patients.
Empowering patients and doctors assures they can work together. They both have a lot to bring to the table. Empowered patients are better able to collaborate. Empowered doctors are more able to adapt to each patients needs and communicate well to build trust. They need each other. If they support each other, the entire health care system will benefit.
The healthcare industry has a unique opportunity to use Internet and digital tools to provide better value for both organizations (in terms of healthcare outcomes) and for patients (in terms of better service and improved health). By taking this course, you are taking a step forward to seize that opportunity.