The 2013 full report of the Case for Information PiF report brings together the evidence for investing in high quality health information for patients and the public.
The report describes the main findings and concludes that there are good business reasons to justify the need for commissioners and providers to invest more resource (time, money and training) in health information provision and support. The evidence shows that providing high quality health information is beneficial. It has a positive impact on service utilisation and health costs, patients’ experience of healthcare and patients’ health behaviour and status. Providing access to quality health information and support is crucial to unlocking what has been termed the ‘blockbuster drug’ of patient engagement. Patient engagement is vital to help people manage their health, make informed decisions about their healthcare, and mitigate financial pressure on the health service.
Evidence from the report points to the most effective ways of providing consumer health information and maximising its impacts, including information tailored to the individual which addresses health literacy needs and which is supported by health or information professionals.
PiF is therefore calling on policy makers and commissioners to take action to make sure patient information is an integral part of their approach to providing high quality patient-centred care by:
1. Championing high quality health information, raising awareness of its importance and properly commissioning and resourcing it.
2. Ensuring that staff are aware of the incentives, levers and obligations to provide health information.
3. Commissioning high quality information resources and services, which meet the needs of patients, provide relevant and appropriate information and are supported by staff.