Health

Patients often do not make active choices during the care process

Utrecht

Patients can find a lot of information about treatments and care providers, so that they can choose appropriate care themselves. There is a need for this information among patients, but the available information is often not used. This may be due to the fact that patients do not always find the right information at the right time in the care process. It is difficult to provide the right information because of the diversity of patients and their situations. This is apparent from a literature study by Nivel.

Patients can make choices at several points in the care process. For example, they can choose the healthcare provider or a treatment. Policymakers pay a lot of attention to the provision of information to patients, thereby encouraging patients to take an active role in the care process. In addition, more and more attention is being paid to choosing appropriate care. When making a choice, most patients rely heavily on the advice of the doctor or general practitioner, more than on other information facilities.

Information needs do not always correspond to actual search behaviour

There are many resources available where patients can find information about healthcare providers or treatments. Several studies show that people often have a need for such information for the benefit of their care process. To varying degrees, patients actually look up this information; they more often look for information about treatments than about healthcare providers. In practice, however, we see that choices are not always made consciously or the information is not used for this. It is therefore not self-evident that the patient will look for information in order to make the right choice of care. Explanations for this may be that patients follow family or friends in their choice of care, or that they prefer to follow the expert, such as the doctor. Also, the right information is not always available at the right time.

Diversity between patients and their situations

It is difficult to make the right information available to the patient at the right time in the care process. One of the reasons for this is the great diversity of patients and care situations. Not everyone needs the same information at the same time in the process, every situation is unique. In addition, making choices and involvement in the care process also requires certain (health) skills from both patients and doctors. There is a large group of patients who have difficulty finding, understanding and applying information. It is therefore important to make information suitable for these people with limited health literacy.

Mapping the patient’s entire trajectory

There are still many outstanding issues surrounding the patient selection process. Questions such as what exactly the patient needs when choosing a healthcare provider, or what the information needs are regarding joint decision-making, the process in which doctor and patient make a decision together for a treatment. It is therefore still insufficiently clear how patients can best be supported in choosing appropriate care. It is therefore advisable to do further research. For example, it would be good to map out the entire trajectory of the patient (patient journey) and to conduct research in an actual care setting.

Patients often do not make active choices during the care process
Source link Patients often do not make active choices during the care process

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