The role of the patient in the emerging era of Participatory Medicine

Most clinician-patient interactions today are largely a clinician-orchestrated approach. However, in Participatory Medicine, the patient plays a much more active role in the process of care.

Participatory Medicine ushers in some very real changes to the way healthcare functions today.

Most clinician-patient interactions today are largely a clinician-orchestrated approach. However, in Participatory Medicine, the patient plays a much more active role in the process of care.

This approach is perhaps best encapsulated by the concept of “let patients help”. It encourages the patient to take an active part in as many aspects of their care journey as possible, from data capture to goal setting and decision making.

How does technology create new opportunities in Participatory Medicine?

Technology has a very significant role to play in enabling patient participation. It enables patients to have a full view of their medical record, to add data they have generated, and to have their perspective on goals and treatment options readily available to clinicians. 

Without a bi-directional electronic patient portal or mobile applications, patients struggle to have their perspectives heard outside of the traditional clinical 15-minute appointment.

Ideally, patients should have access to their complete Electronic Medical Record (EMR), not just a partial view provided by a portal or mobile application tethered to an EMR / EHR.  

Connecting the patient with a complete shared electronic record such as provided by a Health Information Exchange is, therefore, a better approach.

Patients are now much more engaged in their healthcare

Thanks to the internet revolution, there has been an increase in the level of medical literacy in the general patient population. But clinicians tend to be uncomfortable with “Dr Google,” because there is no shortage of medical misinformation available to anyone who cares to look.  

The overall result is that patients are now significantly more engaged in their healthcare. Patients are now better informed, have more access to information and have the desire to participate actively in their healthcare.

The owner of health information: the patient

The next step toward a holistic approach to healthcare is the inclusion of patient-generated health data and the patient’s perspective regarding their individual goals and plans of care.  

Enriching traditional hospital and primary care data sets with payer data and now patient-generated data enables both the healthcare system and individual clinicians with a 360-degree view of each patient.

Healthcare organisations around the world are taking important steps towards participatory medicine. A great example is given by the recently finalised ONC Cures Act Final Rule in the US, which require health information technology vendors and healthcare providers to open their health information to patients via the standard Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources (FHIR) APIs.

Orion Health fully supports the aims, objectives and details of the Cures Act Final rules and has the necessary software already available to our clients.

How can Orion Health help?

Orion Health Amadeus is the healthcare platform designed to actively participate in an open ecosystem centred around the patient.

With the ability to ingest traditional and emerging data types, like patient feedback or smart device data, the Amadeus platform collects data to provide a comprehensive view of the patient.

The standard Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources (FHIR) APIs, underpinned by privacy and access policies, enable meaningful and secure sharing of data with third-party applications, including those of the patients’ choice.

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