A recent article in the Wall Street Journal makes a strong case for patient activation. Patient activation refers to a patient’s knowledge, skills, and confidence to manage their own health. According to the article, “patients who are highly activated have better outcomes and incur lower costs, studies show, even though as many as 40% of Americans lack the knowledge, skills, and confidence to become model patients.”
The concept of patient activation was developed by Judith Hibbard, senior researcher at the University of Oregon’s Health Policy Research Group. Dr. Hibbard has championed patient activation for the past ten years and cultivated rigorous research standards surrounding its application to a range of health settings.
We need more champions for patient activation. When we build the capacity of patients to take charge of their own health needs, who knows how much we can accomplish?
In 2008, Donald Berwick, then President and CEO of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI), published a landmark article on the Triple Aim of better patient experience, improved health, and reduced costs as the key to improving the US health care system.
For such an initiative to work, patients will have a big role in driving the change, and patient activation may be the key we’re really looking for.
- Better patient experience
- Improved health
- Reduced cost
The Triple Aim just found its match.