14 January 2011

Basics For Patient Empowerment

Trisha Torrey at about dot com is my favorite in writing about patient empowerment. She wisely covers many points and once in a while gets a little controversial. This is probably why I enjoy reading what she writes.

Her article is very interesting and everyone should take time to read it. Then take her eight tips and compare them with Ronald at the poor diabetic dot com. While some are nearly the same, they both have differences and are good basics to print and have available for reference or bookmark them as references.

Patient empowerment do not mean that you are overbearing and demanding of your doctor. It does mean the you are knowledgeable about diabetes and will not blindly take advice if you know that it is wrong. You will not be argumentative, but you will be polite and firm. Even this much can scare some doctors into asking you to go elsewhere. So be prepared.

In the above link on Trisha Torrey, she has a definition of patient empowerment. Quote: Patient empowerment has a handful of definitions. Most focus on the concept of the patient taking an active role in his own disease management, and supporting that participation by learning all he can about his disease or condition and treatment options. Unquote

This definition is good as far as it goes, but is not complete for me and I think needs refining. I would add that the “patient must also learn how to participate with the doctor to build a doctor-patient trust that will work to get the best treatment possible.”  This may create problems for some patients because their doctor will not do this. But the attempt must be made and slowly for the best results.

Please do take the time to read both links above and watch for more blogs about patient empowerment. Trisha has some history about patient employment and both have important messages in their tips for what an empowered patient does.

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