Involving patients in decision making

Involving patients in decision making

The WHO has emphasized the importance of health literacy and has called for involving patients in decision making

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The World Health Organization (WHO) underscores the crucial role of health literacy in enabling active patient participation and shared decision-making in healthcare. Low health literacy adversely affects treatment adherence and health outcomes. Digital tools, exemplified by the "Kidney Essentials: CKD" program, showcase the potential to enhance understanding and promote patient-centric healthcare. Healthcare organizations can elevate health literacy by using patient-friendly language, ensuring accessibility in multiple languages, and diversifying communication methods.

To boost health literacy, organizations should establish robust relationships with stakeholders, including patients and caregivers. The article emphasizes the need for structures and mechanisms to collect, create, and share information. It highlights the WHO's framework for meaningful engagement of individuals with noncommunicable diseases and mental health conditions. Co-creation, acknowledging cultural and linguistic diversity, and scalability of resources are crucial elements in building frameworks for health literacy and shared decision-making.

The challenges of health literacy and shared decision-making are substantial, with a significant portion of the population facing obstacles. Innovative approaches, such as the use of digital tools, are essential to address these challenges effectively. The article discusses a health literacy project, "Kidney Essentials: CKD," which utilized avatars and digital platforms to improve understanding among patients with Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD). Results showed increased knowledge and positive feedback from both patients and clinicians.

Practical steps for healthcare providers include collaborating with patients, industry partners, and experts in patient education. Involving patients in decision-making processes, particularly in the context of a patient-centric continuum of care, is crucial. The article concludes by emphasizing the importance of ongoing collaboration, accessibility, scalability, and constant iteration to promote health literacy and build a healthier, informed population.

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