Two recent online posts build on topics we've explored previously on the Prepared Patient Forum. The first on finding and using patient navigators/advocates, the second on the value of working closely with your pharmacist.
On The Doctor Weighs In, Linda Alder, in Understanding Patient Advocates and Patient Navigators, explores the nuances between navigators and patient advocates. Linda notes that 'The effort to engage and assist patients has been growing steadily over the last twenty years, and notable approaches have emerged to help patients increase their involvement in their medical care. ' A couple of decades ago, research on geographic variation and subsequent variability in outcomes gave rise to Shared Decision Making, where patients were offered decision aides to help them learn about their diagnosis in order to make informed decisions in partnership with their medical providers. As personal computers have become ubiquitous, there has been the accompanying emergence of 'e-patients', where health consumers participate online to share experiences, offer advice and crowd source their data. Finally, propelled by current legislation and the emphasis on preventing hospital readmissions, we see the emergence of the 'patient centered home', where patients are the focus of the care plan.
It's logical then, given the momentum, that there's an interest in expanding the care team to provide professional expertise in assisting patients with the complexities of illness.' Click here for Linda's full post. ' See also Jessie Gruman's Patient Navigators: Are They Necessary or Just Nice?
Patient Power's Andrew Schorr reminds us to Don't Hesitate to Ask Your' Pharmacist! in a new video filmed at his local pharmacy.' Andrew shares the questions he thinks you should ask your pharmacists about your meds, side effects, etc. and remarks, 'Pharmacists are among the most accessible of medical professionals, but sometimes we hesitate to consult with them about our medications, or we forget they are there to help.' ' ' For Andrew's video click here.' ' For related posts see Jessie Gruman's' ' Check Box Medicine '. and Herb Wells' post: A Near Miss. A Good Pharmacist. A Serious Lesson.