We hear of “patient engagement” as a topic, but it can be misused in a self-serving way! For some hospitals, it comes in the form of a survey that asks your opinion of the newly-remodeled lobby, but never asks if you were properly treated while in the hospital. That is my least favorite and most cynical use of ‘patient engagement’ efforts.
We patients must be engaged, especially needed in this cancer world. But that is a huge challenge when we have not be taught by experience or the medical world to do so. Just how does the nervous or bewildered patient do that when the problem is confusing or terrifying?
Starting with what we know about ourselves and knowing HOW to explain it is obvious, but not easy. Just how to do that?
See what doctors are learning, as in the following short article. There is a link to a Patient ToolKit http://www.patient-experience.org/PDFs/Patient_Toolkit_v4A_Fillable-Format.aspx developed by others who work with me to improve diagnosis. This is available for anyone to use, can be filled in online or printed out as needed.
Simply, it helps the patient organize his symptoms, concerns and history in a way that MIGHT be more acceptable to the doctor. It can remind you well ahead of the appointment what to do so that the appointment is more useful and efficient.
Your ideas gratefully requested.