Patients’ empowerment to shape the future of healthcare

The conference “Shaping the future of healthcare in Greece” was organised by the Financial Times on 31 May in Athens, Greece. It was the occasion to illustrate innovative practices and services, leading to health and economic growth. Nicola Bedlington talked about the patient being part of the solution to sustainable healthcare.

“We need to shift towards more patient-centred healthcare systems. Such type of care models have been shown to be cost-effective as well as improve patients’ satisfaction and clinical outcomes” said Ms. Bedlington.

Patients need to be empowered to become these co-producers of their health. An effective empowerment strategy starts with promoting health literacy in order to equip patients with the capacity to obtain, interpret and understand health information to make sound health decisions.

Empowerment goes also through high quality and accessible information. EPF believes there is a need for an overarching strategy at EU level in this area. High quality information on health, diseases, therapy options etc. is a key pillar of patient safety and empowerment.

The last element of patients’ empowerment is an enabling healthcare environment. There the principles of patient-centred healthcare are consistently embedded, applied and evaluated. Education of healthcare professionals should include education in self-care in general, and the key competences needed to support patients’ involvement in healthcare.

Our Director concluded: “Patients, when informed, empowered and involved, are an asset to society. They are willing to take on this role in their treatment, but they need to receive adequate support to do so”.

To see the full presentation of our Director, please follow this link:

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