Participatory Medicine is Better Medicine!
What is participatory medicine?
As a patient, I define participatory medicine as working in a collaborative way with my doctors, nurses, caregivers, and family members for the ultimate goal of improving my health. As a 20+ year cancer survivor, I'm fortunate that my healthcare has always been handled in a participatory way. I've learned very early in my cancer journey how important strong communication is with my healthcare team and my caregivers. I've learned everyone working to restore my health, including me, need to work from the same set of information. When doctors don't communicate with other docotors or even their patients in a timely manner, the patient suffers. When a patient and doctor work together to understand the patient's diagnosis and treatment options, and share information about the path they need to take to restore the patient's health, the outcome is always better.
Fortunately, more and more patients and providers are understanding the importance of Participatory Medicine. As a member of the Society for Participatory Medicine, I've had the chance to meet so many patients and providers that truly live the participatory medicine mindset. The Society is working very hard to create a framework and dialog for improving healthcare for everyone.
The Society for Participatory Medicince defines "Participatory Medicine" as follows:
Participatory Medicine is a cooperative model of health care that encourages and expects active involvement by all connected parties (patients, caregivers, healthcare professionals, etc.) as integral to the full continuum of care. The ‘participatory’ concept may also be applied to fitness, nutrition, mental health, end-of-life care, and all issues broadly related to an individual’s health.
I think this is an excellent definition that helps us all recognize the importance of creating stronger, more collaborative relationships with our healthcare providers and family members when working to acheive our best health.
I am a Participatory Patient
I've been a participatory patient from the first day I was diagnosed with Hodgkin's in 1991. It hasn't been an easy road, but I know I've been fortunate to work with providers and healthcare teams that worked with me to help restore my health.
The Society for Participatory Medicine recently unvieled a new seal program to help patients and providers share information about participatory medicine. I've taken the pledge to be a "Participatory Patient."
1) Use the Health Data my Clinician Offers.
2) Give Feedback. Speak up and let my clinician know what's working and what's not working.
3) Between visits, I will use the resources ry providers give me and the resources I find to understand the status of my health.
4) I will encourage my providers to become Participatory!
As you an empowered, participatory patient? I encourage you to take the pledge! Over the next few weeks, I'll be highlighting some of my doctors and nurses on my healthcare team that are truly participatory pioneers, and I'll be nominating them as "Participatory Providers."
Share your story with me! I'd love to learn about your healthcare journey. I hope it's been participatory!