Patient empowerment is inevitable

Unfortunately, the doctor and the patient are not always on the same wavelength. There is a gap that separates them and the doctor can not always find the time to adequately inform the patient.

The latter often realizes too late that he has not retained all the information. It may be too complex to contact the health professional before the next appointment. They may also decide to not take their medication.

The Enlightenment of the 21st Century

Participatory medicine, which gains more and more ground, puts forward the accountability of the patient: they must take control and make their choices. However, they need to be informed: they need a “navigator”, someone who helps them make decisions. The result is an informed, satisfied patient, with less distress and anxiety, no conflicts and regrets.

The idea of ​​a “navigator” is not new: in the 1990s, Harold Freeman put the concept to the test in Harlem, New York. For less than ten years, various hospitals in the United States have implemented a program to guide patients.

In France, the University of Patients is an initiative that automates people struggling with chronic illnesses, giving them the knowledge and vocabulary to discuss with physicians in equal conversations.

In Quebec

The concept was taken up at the University of Rimouski in 2017. This approach is also found at the University of Montreal (UdeM). Le Devoir reported in 2015 the hiring of 200 patients, adequately trained, to enrich the teaching of the Faculty of Medicine of the University. UdeM makes available the Guide to Implementing the Care and Services Partnership, which clarifies the role of each and what they may contribute to each other, as well as examples of the partnership context.

A project aimed at empowering patients suffering from chronic diseases in the Rocher-Percé RCM in 2011 showed positive results: “It works very well. People understand the importance of eating well to move. One notices moreover that people have lost weight because they are happier, they have more hope. This is very positive, “said Chantal Duguay, the director general of the CSSS Rocher-Percé at that time.

Graffici said that the project targeted “clients who are struggling with a chronic disease (cholesterol, diabetes, cardiorespiratory diseases, etc.). Various objectives are targeted: preventing deterioration in health status, promoting better adherence to treatments, bringing participants to behavioral changes towards healthy lifestyles, improving their physical condition and mobility, and improving their care. ”

The first person to be involved and affected by their health is the patient themselves. Let’s not forget it. Well resourced, they have every reason to take the reins of their health if they are only given the chance.


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