“What [we need] is a radical change in the way medicine is practiced,” says Angela Coulter, director of global initiatives at the Informed Medical Decisions Foundation and author of Engaging Patients in Healthcare, her latest book. Angela’s book is a comprehensive, evidence-based textbook that explores the ways in which patient engagement can improve overall health care.
While performing research for the book, Angela was surprised to find a great deal of scientific evidence on patient engagement buried in various medical journals. The book aims to make this research accessible to health care professionals by providing it all in one place.
In the chapter entitled “Patients–the greatest untapped resource?”, Angela lays out eight different areas of health policy where patients have the opportunity to make key contributions to maximize health care. She notes that in order to make significant changes in the current state of care, patients need to be better informed, fully supported and provided with more opportunities for participation.
“I hope that readers will gain a better understanding of the problems inherent in the traditional paternalistic approach to health care delivery,” says Angela. “I would like to think the book might open their eyes to a new form of care in which patients are recognized and supported as partners in the business of healing, players in the promotion of health, managers of health care resources, and experts on their own circumstances, needs, preferences and capabilities.