The Picker Institute in the USA launched the concept of Always Events© as an ‘organising principle’ to drive healthcare systems to become more patient-centered. Within the initiative, the Iowa Health System has developed a teach-back training toolkit. The aim is to ensure that clinicians and physicians always use teach-back strategies to help patients understand their healthcare instructions before discharge. During teach-back, the nurse asks open-ended questions in a non-shaming way so it doesn’t sound like a test. The patients say back in their own words their healthcare instructions. This enables the nurse to check for understanding and, if necessary, to re-teach the information, and check again for understanding.
Entries for the EHI Awards 2012 in association with BT are now open and free to enter. The EHI Awards are the only awards that specifically highlight the achievements of those working in the UK healthcare IT sector. PiF members may be interested in applying for the ‘Best use of social media in healthcare’ award. The award is for outstanding, innovative work that exploits the chosen medium well and has been evaluated and shown to deliver proven benefits. (One of the speakers at the PiF conference this year, David Hammond, was winner of this award last year)
Asthma patient booklets based on guidance from the British guideline on managing asthma are now available on the Scottish Intercollegiate Guidelines Network (SIGN website). Also published are electronic versions of the Adult and Children’s Stepwise Diagrams. The patient booklets explain the recommendations in the clinical guideline; and help to make patients aware of the tests and treatments they should expect to receive from the NHS. The booklets are a lay translation of the clinical guidelines. They are not intended to be general information leaflets.
This research investigates whether physicians’ recommendations pull patients away from their preferred treatment option when making a preference-sensitive decision. In the decision scenario, about 48% of patients with schizophrenia and 26% of patients with multiple sclerosis followed the advice of their physician and thus chose the treatment option that went against their initial preferences. Patients who followed their physician’s advice were less satisfied with their decision than patients not following their physician’s advice.
NHS Kidney Care has launched a new report highlighting the benefits that people with a long term condition can gain from monitoring and managing their condition online. The report presents the findings of a comprehensive evaluation NHS Kidney Care carried out around the usage of Renal PatientView (RPV), a secure internet-based system that enables people with kidney disease to view their test results online, and to input some self-collected data such as weight and blood pressure readings. The evaluation shows that patients and health professionals believe that using RPV makes patients feel more in control of their medical care, and gives them a better understanding of their kidney disease. Professionals observed that patients who use RPV are more informed about their kidney disease, and are much more involved in decisions about their treatment.
NICE has this week published a new quality standard and guidance on patient experience in adult NHS services. The quality standard for improving the quality of patient experience includes ensuring that patients are given the opportunity to discuss their health beliefs, concerns and preferences in order to individualise their care. It also states that patients have their physical needs and psychological concerns assessed. In addition the standard states that patients are made aware that they have the right to choose, accept or decline treatment and these decisions are respected and supported. Information for patients is covered in the standard on shared decision making – ‘Patients are actively involved in shared decision making and supported by healthcare professionals to make fully informed choices about investigations, treatment and care that reflect what is important to them’.
Latest figures show that the annual Act FAST stroke campaign has had a significant impact on patients receiving stroke treatment. Last year alone, in the two months after the adverts finished running and people’s awareness of the signs increased, the NHS in England saw a 24 per cent rise in stroke related 999 calls, and a 16 per cent rise in stroke sufferers being seen quicker following the campaign in 2011. With evidence that awareness has improved how quickly patients receive stroke treatment, a campaign launches this week. The adverts aim to get people suffering from stroke to hospital as FAST as possible. The Act FAST campaign will include TV adverts running from February 27 to March 25 and will help people to identify the symptoms of stroke by acting FAST.
The Health Foundation has this week published a report on the things the Commissioning Board should do to promote shared decision making with patients. The case for ‘no decision about me, without me’ is clear in ethics and in policy and is supported by a growing evidence base. However, to make it an everyday experience for patients requires a significant change in philosophy, in culture and in the roles of patients and professionals. This fundamental shift must be modelled and led by every part of the system to drive change in government and in the consulting room. In the report, the Health Foundation briefly introduce the concept of shared decision making and then look at each of these four areas of action for the NHS Commissioning Board.
Dame Fiona Caldicott has agreed to lead an independent from Government review of the balance between protecting patient information and its sharing, to improve patient care. Dame Fiona is known across the NHS as the originator of ‘Caldicott Guardians’, the individuals responsible in every NHS and local authority organisation for making decisions about sharing identifiable information. This requires balancing the public interest of protecting confidential information with the public interest for sharing the information. She will be calling on an expert panel made up of clinical, social care, research and other professionals, as well as patients and service users.
As internet chemotherapy information (ICI) is increasingly viewed as a valuable patient education tool, the researchers investigated the impact of ICI on patient care and analysed health professionals’ (HPs’) attitudes towards ICI. Just over half of the patient respondents accessed the internet regularly. They were younger, with higher incomes and qualifications. Key search topics included chemotherapy modes of action, symptom management and treatment success, and most considered ICI useful. More than half wanted to discuss ICI with HPs but most did not get the opportunity. Although the majority of HP respondents supported the need for patients to retrieve ICI, most questioned the accuracy of ICI and did not routinely recommend its use.