Our annual meeting, the Cochrane Colloquium, had patient involvement as central theme for 2018. We took the chance to meet two of the Cochrane Eddective Practice and Organizsation of Care authors of the newly published review, ‘Patient‐mediated interventions to improve professional practice’, to get their reflections on patient involvement in clinical practice as it linked so well with the theme of the Cochrane Colloquium.
Healthcare professionals are important contributors to healthcare quality and patient safety, but their performance does not always follow recommended clinical practice. There are many approaches to influencing practice among healthcare professionals. In this review, authors assessed the effectiveness of patient‐mediated interventions on healthcare professionals' performance. Examples of patient‐mediated interventions include 1) patient‐reported health information, 2) patient information, 3) patient education, 4) patient feedback about clinical practice, 5) patient decision aids, 6) patients, or patient representatives, being members of a committee or board, and 7) patient‐led training or education of healthcare professionals
25 studies with a total of 12,268 patients were included in this Cochrane Review. The review found:
- Patients can improve the performance of healthcare professionals through a broad range of approaches. Strategies where patients give healthcare professionals information about themselves and patient education are promising
- It seems fair to imply that patient-mediated interventions, where communication with and involvement of patients is a given, indeed improve the quality of healthcare.
“We do Cochrane reviews to improve healthcare, this review shows patients can influence the quality of the healthcare they receive by influencing healthcare professionals. Not only can it improve their own healthcare but the care others receive too, ” say Martita S Fonhus, lead author of the Cochrane Review.
Therese K Dalsbo, co-author, added: “In this way patients can think of themselves as responsible for their own care and that of others later on. The colloquium put patients at the heart of the event, a sentiment we agree with, this democratic approach affects the healthcare we all receive."
Fonhus concluded: “An informed patient leads to better health, there are two pathways. One which improves the patients own health and one which improves the practice of the clinician. Patients can help clinicians to remember all they need to do – especially given that clinical encounters are often so brief.”