• 8Nov

    You Don’t Know What You Don’t Know

    Excerpts from an article by AbbVie:

    Millions of patients in the UK live with long-term conditions. Is there a way to empower patients to be more involved in decisions about their care, which ultimately reduces pressure on the NHS? It turns out that the solution could be as simple as improving the accessibility of local services and providing better information on wellbeing as part of health.

    In reality, a complex myriad of factors including limited NHS primary and social care resources mean patients with chronic conditions are largely left to self-manage their own condition.vi This means that patients with chronic conditions become pivotal determinants of their own health outcomes and can be actively engaged in monitoring and controlling their own health if provided with the right, high-quality information and support to aid this. vii

    People living with long-term conditions tend to spend just ~1% of their time with healthcare professionals. viii It is this key statistic, and the associated reliance on self-management, that explains how important it is for there people to be provided with high-quality, accessible healthcare information about their care. ix

    In March 2015, a poll of the public, including patients with long-term conditions was conducted by the Patient Information Forum (PIF), a UK membership organisation and network for everyone involved with healthcare information.

    PIF reported that 36% of patients with a long-term condition disagreed that they were given helpful information about their condition when they were first diagnosed.x

    This issue is compounded by patients’ reported difficulty in accessing and locating information on their condition xii. In the same year, Public Health England co-developed a literature review to examine whether improving health literacy can help to reduce health inequalities. The report concludes that 61% of working age adults in England find it difficult to understand health and wellbeing information.xiii

    It is easy to see how this presents the NHS with a serious dilemma – millions of people are potentially being excluded from making informed decisions about their health.

    Providing patients with better, high-quality information about their condition and their options, offers huge potential to relieve burden on the NHS and allow greater sustainability in meeting the needs of an ageing population. Shared decision-making improves decision quality and patient satisfaction, and can result in more cost-effective care.

    When properly informed and in charge of their own health, it is predicted that patients will be less inclined to elect for major surgery, request GP or healthcare professional consultations, reduce A&E attendances, emergency admissions, re-admissions and overall time spent in hospital. xiv

    We believe sustainable and accessible healthcare is key to creating healthy patients. Since 2016, AbbVie has been one of PIF’s corporate partners and has provided educational grant funding to support PIF’s work. Using this funding, PIF has developed a tool to help health services improve the information patients can access. This includes mapping out a 7-step process for creating the ‘Perfect Patient Information Journey’, identifying gaps such as pregnancy, relapse and psycho-social support.

    Read more about the PIF Perfect Patient Information Journey

    Read the full article here: https://www.abbvie.co.uk/stories/You_Dont_Know_What_You_Dont_Know.html