Involving individuals in their own care and treatment implies that they are supported to manage their wellbeing and health for achieving better health outcomes. Patient involvement in healthcare enables individuals to take part in the decision making process regarding what and how they would be receiving care. It is argued that focus in on a comprehensive care delivery process. More precisely, patient involvement implies that the healthcare services regularly provide patients with the care, support and information for determining and achieving the important health outcomes (Hyde et al., 2017). According to Lawton et al. (2017) involving patients in their care process might range from sharing decisions regarding elective care processes to ongoing support for long-term conditions. This considers the current circumstances, patient background, experience, and preferences. However, involvement is achieved through effective communication with the patients so that they can understand the need of it. By identifying the varied needs of the patients and agreeing upon the goals lead to wellbeing and better health.
Bishop and Macdonald (2017) explained the importance of involving people in their own care. The researchers highlighted that the most important benefit is an improvement in health and wellbeing. Further, there is also an improvement in care and quality. Patient’s lives can undergo a transformation if they feel in control of their health and when they can shape the care process through support. Involving patients in care delivery implies that a personalized care is provided to them aligned with the personal preferences and goals. Making choices and decisions help them in optimizing their mental and physical health and wellbeing. Person-centred approaches increase skills, knowledge and confidence for managing their health and wellbeing. Further, those having complex needs can have added benefits from personal healthcare plan that integrates special needs.
Heyhoe et al. (2018) opined that people when involved in their care delivery experience greater satisfaction with their health outcomes. Evidence indicates that people experience fewer instances of regret regarding the decisions they have taken, and they perceive the decisions to be more appropriate. Further, they make fewer complaints regarding the service delivered to them. There is a reduction in unwarranted variation in the provision of care. The focus is on ‘what matters’ to the individuals. In this regard, it is also to be mentioned that patient involvement in care is noteworthy in improving financial sustainability and enabling proper allocation of resources (Vahdat et al. 2014).
There exists a rich pool of literature that indicated the effectiveness of patient involvement in healthcare. In 2008, a study was conducted with 998 hospitalized patients in Massachusetts that found that when patients were involved in the care process, more number of harmful patient safety incidents was identified. Further studies have also proved the effectiveness of such approach. Evidence also points out that patient involvement can lead to an increase in satisfaction of care professionals and successive reduction in sick time, staff turnover and overtime. This is a contributory factor for delivering safe and quality care. Rates of readmission of patients are also decreased when patients are involved in care delivery (patientsafetyinstitute.ca 2017).
Bishop, A.C. and Macdonald, M., 2017. Patient involvement in patient safety: a qualitative study of nursing staff and patient perceptions. Journal of patient safety, 13(2), pp.82-87.
Heyhoe, J., Reynolds, C., Dunning, A., Johnson, O., Howat, A. and Lawton, R., 2018. Patient involvement in diagnosing cancer in primary care: a systematic review of current interventions. Br J Gen Pract, 68(668), pp.e211-e224.
Hyde, C., Dunn, K.M., Higginbottom, A. and Chew‐Graham, C.A., 2017. Process and impact of patient involvement in a systematic review of shared decision making in primary care consultations. Health Expectations, 20(2), pp.298-308.
Lawton, R., O'hara, J.K., Sheard, L., Armitage, G., Cocks, K., Buckley, H., Corbacho, B., Reynolds, C., Marsh, C., Moore, S. and Watt, I., 2017. Can patient involvement improve patient safety? A cluster randomised control trial of the Patient Reporting and Action for a Safe Environment (PRASE) intervention. BMJ Qual Saf, 26(8), pp.622-631.
Patientsafetyinstitute.ca. (2017). [online] Available at: http://www.patientsafetyinstitute.ca/en/toolsResources/Patient-Engagement-in-Patient-Safety-Guide/Documents/Engaging%20patients%20as%20partners.pdf [Accessed 22 Mar. 2018].
Vahdat, S., Hamzehgardeshi, L., Hessam, S., and Hamzehgardeshi, Z. 2014. Patient Involvement in Health Care Decision Making: A Review. Iranian Red Crescent Medical Journal, 16(1), e12454. http://doi.org/10.5812/ircmj.12454
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