In a world of continuously and fast growing medical knowledge and technology, it’s critical tonot forget the human being undergoing the treatment. Each patient has their own experience andopinion so what suits one patient may not suit the other even if they have the same disease.
Inthis essay I will discuss the importance of engaging the patient in decision-making process.Patient and carer engagement is composed of involving patients in making decisions about theircare, promoting patients’ choice, involving patients in service provision and planning. As anyhealth-care intervention has some degree of uncertainty whether it will improve the health of thepatient, every patient has the right to receive detailed information about the care they willreceive, especially if they will have an invasive intervention. Consumer engagement activitiesthat naturally divides into two dimensions: (i) opportunities for learning and healing after anadverse event has occurred; and (ii) engagement of patients in preventing harm.
Taking informed consent from patients is an effective way to ensure they are involved in thedecision-making process. The consent process has two main phases, elements that inform thepatient and elements that enable the patient’s decision-making process. The elements whichinform the patient include information provided by the health-care practitioner andcomprehension of that information by the patient. Elements that enable the patient to make adecision include time to absorb the information disclosed and perhaps consult with family/carers.That gives the chance to make a free and voluntary choice and the competence of the careproviders.
Open disclosure is a term used to describe the process of informing patients and their families ofan adverse event related to treatment or diagnosis, not the bad outcomes that are expected fromthe disease. It is a communicating process with the patient after a patient-related error. It consistsof four objectives: 1) an apology to the patient with explanation of what went wrong and how ithappened, 2) assuring the patient that such an adverse event will be prevented and involve thepatient in the prevention plan, 3) holding the accountability of the incident, being transparentwith the patient, and 4) compensation for the patient unneeded pain or loss, and sometimes,punishment for the involved staff. Unfortunately, there are some barriers that prevent a healthcare provider from disclosing. Most common of which are the fear of a consequent legal action, the fear of confronting an angry patient and their family, the fear of losing reputation or job, orthe mere feeling of shame and embarrassment.
In order to prevent errors from recurring, the health care provider must find the events thatcaused the occurrence of them in the first place. That can be obtained by improving thecommunication with the patient involved and making them a part in the prevention plan. Thepatient have valuable information that once shared with the health care providers, it will solvemany mysteries surrounding the adverse event, and it will give a clear picture to what happenedand how to prevent it. Besides, the communication between the healthcare team is very vital inmaintaining patient safety so every team member has a say in the service being delivered.Finally, the administration must have a role in supervising the health care team and respondingeffectively to the patient complaints.
To sum up, engaging the patient in the treating process has a significant impact on theeffectiveness of treatment and avoiding adverse events. Plus, the patient must be informed aboutthe adverse event when it occurs as it is the patient right to know and because the patient point ofview can be very helpful in preventing the error recurrence