Uncertainty plagues us all at the moment, but one thing is for sure, a focus on patient engagement and quality of care is the answer to the surmounting financial pressures on the NHS. Patient led care and ownership over their health is the future. Whilst, we of course need to mitigate risks, it’s vital we embrace the inevitable new direction health care is moving in.
Patient led care is wanted now more than ever and we must ensure we set patients up for success. We sit in a unique position with a cohort of customers (patients) eager and ready to take an active role, but from the other side (the NHS) there is a sense of unwillingness to change and as a results unpreparedness for these keen customers.
A truly patient led NHS has been an aspiration in the health service for well over a decade. The motivation is born out of the realisation that improving patient involvement could lead to better services, higher standards of care and greater efficiency savings
– Ewan King and Andy Mills, A bigger say in the NHS for patients, The Guardian, 17th January 2013
Why Patient led care?
All strategic decisions stem from money. Putting patients back at the heart of what the NHS does, can seem altruistic but as the above alludes to, happier patients means better services which means better savings. It of course results in a win for all involved, but knowing why someone is doing something is often more important than the how. Knowing the motivation behind patient led care should mean good news for those outside the system, for patients and businesses alike. There is an opportunity to create a strong business case for implementing such care at pace. The quicker patients take the lead on their care, the happier patients will be and the more money Trusts will save and quicker.
How to do patient led care effectively?
So, it seems like an all-round win to have patients owning their care, why isn’t it implemented already? Well, the apprehensions come from previous experience. The answer however, is to look at bespoke solutions that fit with your hospitals needs. To focus on small incremental changes that stack on one another rather than tearing a system down and trying to completely rebuild.
MHealth is a broad spectrum and what often hinders its rapid dissemination is the hopes that it will solve everything at once. We need to focus on it solving smaller issues first such as patient ownership over their health and reducing DNA’s and grow from there. Slowly on-boarding patients and clinicians and helping them navigate this massive culture shift.
– Niam Coghlan, MHealth and the Sharing Economy Culture Shift, DrDoctor insight blog, 10th November, 2016
If you’d like to find out more about how best to implement patient led care at your Trust check out this!