Patient Empowerment for Patient Engagement
Proactive Health Outlet is a
patient-empowerment website, which provides resources for increasing health literacy and patient engagement.
Health literacy has long been a problem in health care, but can no longer be overlooked since the advent of the
Affordable Care Act, which depends on it for achieving quality improvement in health care and reduced health-care
expenses. Additionally, proper use of patient-engagement resources can often improve health and prevent
engagement is the active, meaningful and beneficial participation in
one's medical care and overall health management in ways that promote quality improvement in health
care, improved well-being, and lower medical expenses.
Patient empowerment is the process by which patient engagement is
achieved, and health literacy is the basis of patient empowerment.
Health literacy is defined as the degree of an individual's
capacity to obtain, process, and understand basic medical information and services necessary to make good and
appropriate health-related decisions. It varies depending on age, socioeconomic status and other factors, but a
study conducted by the US Department of Education in 2006 showed that only 36% of adults had basic or below basic
skills for utilizing medical information written at a fifth grade level. The study also showed that only 12%
had levels of literacy felt to be proficient, as defined by their ability to search a complex document and find the
information necessary to define a medical term.
Just as knowledge is power, the acquisition
of medical knowledge is empowerment, and is the foundation of establishing health literacy. Therefore, Proactive Health Outlet provides a number of
professionally-written articles pertaining
to a variety of medical and health-care issues. Topics include the hazards of smoking, quitting smoking, obesity,
weight management, nutrition, hypertension (high blood pressure), blood pressure monitoring, medical insurance and
the Affordable Care Act, with many future articles of interest and benefit to patients on these and other topics,
to be added in the future.
Understanding the value of personal
experience(s) in achieving the behavioral changes and performing some of the vital activities which accompany
patient engagement, this site also introduces you to other resources to supplement written and audio information. Some of those other resources include
products and services for measuring various parameters of well-being, achieving wellness goals, tracking
and documenting personal health-related data, improving health, preventing disease, and importantly, for
obtaining medical insurance.
Although this site is designed to help
patients become more actively involved in their care in ways that are beneficial, it should not be a
substitute for a relationship with a medical professional, but should be mutually beneficial, with respect to care
received and delivered. The benefit to physicians and other providers of care notably, is assisting them in
complying with Affordable-Care-Act mandates to get patients more involved in their care, and in educating
Since patient empowerment is the means to the
end result of patient engagement, it is an important process for preparing patients for many of the current and
future changes associated with the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare. In addition to promoting quality improvement in health care, patient empowerment
can improve communications-in- healthcare and help lower medical expenses.
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