Step 9: Keep working
Patient empowerment requires work! Even after you have achieved a certain level of successful involvement, the work does not end - it is just beginning.
First, you should stay active in your general search for information on your illness. There are always new developments, research trials and findings, and new treatment options. When things can start to look very depressing, it is quite a nice thought that maybe there is indeed something that may be coming in the next year or so in order to help out.
Second, keep looking for specific tools that may help you like a personal health record or patient portals. In addition, there may be new providers or clinics that can offer alternative levels of care. Look also for tools that assist in your decision making in order to work towards empowerment. There are many out there. Again, this is not for everyone, but typically people that are chronically ill – 3Cs, are very interested in considering options.
Third, look to continue to partner with our patients out there. They may exist in your neighborhood or somewhere around the world, but there is indeed some solace in finding people who share the same perspectives and same experiences - even if these experiences are not so much fun!
One place that puts it all together to support you is Wellocities.
Wellocities is a new type of web page or web service. It is not meant to be healthcare's answer to the Yellow Pages or Medicare's Face Book - but rather a service that has been totally designed and developed with only the patient and the consumer in mind! In fact, many patients have been actively involved in the early innovative stages of this service.
The goal, as always, is to empower the patient. This means providing the consumer with data and information in the format that they can use, interpret and make effective decisions. The decision making is a very critical part of this service as we want to change patients' behaviours; up until now patients are very passive recipients in the decision making process, however, we want to engage patients to be part of the process in order to improve overall health outcomes! Most importantly, it will improve your own health results!!
Try www.wellocities.com !