Patient Power Infographic
Nothing about me without me
An empowered activated patient:
- Understands their health condition and its effect on their body.
- Feels able to participate in decision-making with their
- Feels able to make informed choices about treatment.
- Understands the need to make necessary changes to their
lifestyle for managing their condition.
- Is able to challenge and ask questions of the healthcare
professionals providing their care.
- Takes responsibility for their health and actively seeks care
only when necessary
- Actively seeks out, evaluates and makes use of information.
Top 5 Traits of Empowered Patients
- Responsibility: this includes collaborating with their healthcare providers to make decisions, researching treatment options, preparing for appointments and so on.
- Use common sense: this includes making an assessment of what care is being recommended because it CAN be done vs what SHOULD be done, sticking up for themselves when necessary (eg asking the doc- tor if they have washed their hands before the examination)
- Collaborative: reach decisions together with the healthcare professional
- Trust, but verify: for example, questions the need for tests or imaging
- exams (Choosing Wisely), uses trusted online sources.
- Use Technology to Gather Information
8 Ways to Empower Patients
- Begin with empathy: openly acknowledge their emotional states,
especially when they are difficult. Encourage patients to ask questions.
- Knowledge is power – enable access to medical records, patient
portals. Provide a list of trusted, authoritative online information portals.
- Remind patients that they are at the centre of their own
healthcare: coach them to be engaged consumers rather than passive recipients, and
find power in the role. Arriving at appointments armed with information such as
a list of all current medications, supplements, and regimens, as well as an
up-to-date history of previous visits and pro cedures can help them feel in
- Make shared decision-making the easy choice for clinicians
- Groups of patients are a powerful asset
- L isten to what patients have to say
- Encourage patients to engage with social media: Find out what
channels are available where you work and personally invite your patients to
participate. Social media can also be a powerful way for patients to connect
with others in similar situations.
- Actively welcome and encourage patient empowerment: If you praise
them for their efforts and actively listen to their opinions and concerns,
you’re likely to find them willing and enthusiastic partners in treatment going
European Network on Patient Empowerment (ENOPE) www.enope.eu
Torey T (2013) The top 5 traits of empowered patients. About.com
Valerie Billingham, Through the Patient’s Eyes, Salzburg Seminar Session 356, 1998
Drexel University (2014) 5 ways to empower your patients as a nurse. Ragan’s HealthCare Communication News, 21 July; Hillier M (2014) Five things the NHS must learn about empowering patients. The Guardian, 20 May. www.theguardian.com
Nothing about me without me An empowered activated patient: Understands their health condition and its effect on their body. Feels able to participate