Make your experience count.
A Call to other Patient Organizations: More Room for Patient Participation
April 27, 2012 - In the recent past, it was difficult to get a response to our message about the importance of patient participation. Although many people agreed that patients should become more engaged in health care, there were few actual examples of that in practice and not much opportunity to participate in a meaningful way. There was also very little demand for more information.
All of that has been changing. And in fact, our message has become very desirable.
We are not sure how the change happened. We hope that it is because more people recognize that patients must participate in the system to help improve their own experience and that of everyone associated with health care. It is also now widely agreed that health care systems must improve their capacity to treat chronic conditions. And this of course means that the patient must be more actively engaged - not only in their care, but in how that care is delivered.
Last week I attended two different conferences where patient engagement was given great priority in the discussions - Canada Health Infoway’s conference and the Health Charities Coalition of Canada’s Annual Roundtable Meeting. At both events, the issue of services to patients and patient engagement were seen as crucial to the future of health care in Canada. At Infoway, our voice was joined by Donna Davis from Patients for Patient Safety. At the Health Charities Coalition, several of the organizations declared that they are paying more and more attention to supporting patients.
Overall, it is recognized that organizations like ours are needed to speak for these patient issues, and to bring the patient perspective to health care conversations. We are pleased, and beginning to prepare for the next stage of our activities.
We think that organizations that speak for patients should begin to get together to carve out a shared agenda. We will not all be doing the same thing, or even thinking in exactly the same way, but we do share a general interest in the patient experience and in improving the health care system in relation to patients.
If you are part of such an organization, please contact us. Let’s take advantage of this renewed and strengthened interest in what we are all up to.
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