Cancer continues to be a leading cause of death globally, with nearly 10 million deaths worldwide in 2020 alone. In a medical specialty with such a high risk of mortality and morbidity, patient enablement can be a key factor in improving care for cancer surgery patients. Studies indicate that patient enablement plays a critical role in developing a trusting surgeon-patient relationship and improving health outcomes.
Let’s take a closer look at the impact of patient enablement and how it creates value and improved care for oncology patients.
- Patient enablement makes patients active participants in their own healthcare.
- The patient enablement process is significantly beneficial in oncology, where patients face overwhelming care plans and are at high risk of mortality and morbidity.
- Patient enablement creates value through better health outcomes, decreased anxiety, and lower medical costs.
- Personalized care automation is a great way to ensure effective patient enablement.
What is Patient Enablement?
Let’s begin by defining what we mean by patient enablement. Patient enablement is about collaboration between you and your patients. Good patient enablement allows your patients to cope with, understand, and manage their own health.
When you implement patient enablement, you engage in a two-way dialogue aiming to achieve the best possible health outcomes for each patient. This allows the patient to become actively involved in their care while providing you with objective, evidence-based information about them and their medical condition.
Patient enablement is a patient-centered process that helps to educate, empower, and engage the patient in their own healthcare.They are active partners with you in their treatment path. The patient enablement process helps you provide better and more personalized patient care, resulting in improved health outcomes.
Why is Patient Enablement So Important in Oncology?
A cancer diagnosis can turn a patient’s life upside down.
The cancer experience is extremely emotional, stressful, and overwhelming. Patients and their loved ones are often faced with an avalanche of new and confusing information. To add to that, patients typically transition from one specialist to the next, making it difficult for the patient to fully understand the overall picture of their treatment plan.
Additionally, there is a vast amount of variance between patients, and each individual needs a different approach not only to their treatment but also to their emotional care. That’s why patient enablement and personalized care are crucial in oncology.
Patient enablement helps your cancer patient to understand the treatment plan from their own perspective and in accessible day-to-day language. It helps to increase your patient’s comfort level and improve their trust in you as their surgeon. Your patient becomes a partner, rather than a passive observer, in their oncology surgery journey. Ultimately this allows them to regain some control in a situation that can otherwise make them feel completely helpless.
In oncology, where patients are at increased risk of complications and death, patient enablement not only improves health outcomes, but it also reduces medical costs.
What are the Benefits of Patient Enablement in Oncology Surgery Patient Care?
Patient enablement helps achieve better outcomes.
The patient enablement process can have a dramatic effect on a person’s short and long-term physical and mental health. Patients who are better enabled report:
- Significantly better health outcomes
- Improved health-related quality of life
- Lower mortality and morbidity rates
- Decreased anxiety
- Decreased depression
- Lower medical costs
Giving your patients a better understanding of their oncology journey and an active role in their own healthcare means that they are more likely to adhere to at-home care instructions, which will naturally result in better health outcomes.
For example, effective patient enablement could be what helps a cancer patient to quit smoking after treatment, lowering their risk of recurrence. Others may be better motivated to adhere to beneficial diet and fitness practices when they are actively engaged in choosing those practices and fully understand the reasons behind them.
Clear communication with your patients also better equips them to keep you informed of their symptoms. Having accurate, up-to-date information as a result of a two-way dialogue empowers you to provide them with the best possible care.
How Can You Use Patient Enablement to Improve Your Oncology Surgery Patient Care?
With such significant benefits, good patient enablement is something that every oncology surgery practice should strive for. But how do you execute these concepts?
The good news is that you’ve probably already taken the first step. About a third of the patient enablement process is grounded in your communication with patients, both verbal and non-verbal. This includes things like involving your patient in every step of the decision-making process, reaching an agreement with your patient on the next best steps for their treatment, and the simple but bonding act of building rapport by laughing together.
Beyond your interpersonal relationships, current technology, such as care automation solutions, is a fantastic tool for overcoming barriers and building patient enablement. It provides self-service tools to allow your patients to schedule appointments, find the answers to non-medical questions, complete forms, make payments, and pace their education. This enables patients to have control by keeping them informed and reminded of critical steps in their journey.. At a time that can often feel uncertain and overwhelming, providing these services to cancer patients can provide much-needed security and certainty.
These tools also reduce the administrative burden on staff, allowing more time to be spent building rapport and providing support to the patients in front of them.
At the end of the day, the key lies in personalized care. The better enabled your patients are, the better you can personalize their cancer surgery journey and make it the most effective possible process for them as an individual. And the technology that can help you do this continues to grow every day. The future of personalized cancer patient care is incredibly bright.
How Personalized Care Automation Enables Patients
In our increasingly digital world, great patient enablement starts with great technology. Wellbe’s digital solutions help you partner effectively with your patients to ensure the best possible health outcomes.
Wellbe’s solutions are:
This personalized care automation facilitates a seamless flow of communication, giving you and your patients the tools and information you need to work together throughout the oncology surgery journey.
Connect with Wellbe to learn more about how personalized care automation can help you improve your oncology patient care.