Patient Participation Guidelines

Existing SPM Criteria

II. People – sick and well – need to be participants in their own care. This means they choose the level and type of participation that suits their needs and abilities. To make this choice, they must:

  1. Take action on behalf of their own health. This might include lifestyle changes and preventive actions.
  2. Know when and how to call on professional care providers for help and advice and have access to them
  3. Know when and how to call on friends, family and other social networks for help and advice and have access to them
  4. Know when and how to find trustworthy information to inform health-related choices and have access to it
  5. Know where to find support and help to supplement their inability to meet the expectations of full participation in their care and have access to

Existing Themes to Add

1. Explore, evaluate and, when appropriate take advantage of web-based and mobile technologies that may enhance participation

2. Seek evidence-based and reliable sources of information.
a. First, ask your health provider’s advice for trustworthy information to inform health-related choices.

b. If your health provider is negative or uncertain, medical librarians can be very helpful and informative.

c. There are also useful sites that assess websites for quality. For example, Health on the Net Foundation ( is particularly useful for determining the merits of health sites..
3. When seeking a provider and/or medical institution look for reliable sources for comparison and assessment.
a.  Ask knowledgeable family members and friends  for recommendations

b.  Know and use reliable internet sources for grading providers and medical institutions.   Beware of internet grading systems that do not take into consideration high-risk procedures and/or patients when reporting date on complications, morbidity, and mortality rates.
4. Communicate effectively with the clinician
a. At the first office visit.  If the clinician doesn’t ask, volunteer family and personal physical and mental medical history.  Bring a list of all current medications (including supplements and alternative products).

b.  Over the course of treatment.  If patients bring on-line information on their condition to their providers, they should be sure they have a clear understanding of the material before they come in so they can comprehend the physician’s responses.
5. Take responsibility for knowing the right questions on insurance and cost issues
a. Compare insurance coverage options and match with personal situations.

b.  Keep good records, including receipts, invoices, documention of services, and requests for reimbursement.
6. If diagnosed with a chronic disease, prepare for the long duration
a. Comply and adhere to treatment regimens after agreement with provider on best care approach.

b. Educate themselves as much as possible on procedures, devices, medications being taken, including interractions, adverse effects, and indications of effectiveness or failure.

c. Be well aware of the symptoms of drug adverse effects, interractions, and failure and immediate communicate these events clearly with the clinician if they occur.

d  Be knowledgeable about symptoms that indicate an acute exacerbation, relapse, or deterioration in the condition. Also be aware of signs of improved health and record events that might be responsible  for improvements.   .
7. Patients undergoing surgery, procedures, or expensive tests should be well prepared

8. Plan for the end of life
a. Prepare advance directive,, medical power of attorney, and understand specific state laws that apply to end-of-life care, including financial issues.