Dear Readers,
Today, eye care delivery is largely driven by the providers. This translates to a lot of effort being spent by the provider to ensure that the patient avails of their services. Also, it is again the provider who has to try to ensure, wherever possible, that the patient completes the treatment cycle. Sadly, eye care is not considered an essential - loss of vision is not life threatening and as it is usually lost gradually, people generally try to cope with their residual vision as long as possible. Even in instances where they are economically set back due to loss of vision, it is seen that they usually do not seek eye care.

How can we bring about a change in the behaviour of the patient, in specific, and the community, in general, to be proactive in taking charge of their health, in seeking care when required and in motivating others to do the same? We need to work on two levels: on educating and supporting the patient as an individual and the community as a whole, and on developing the eye care provider into one that delivers patient centered care - one that empowers its patients to proactively seek care, take part in any decision making along the treatment procedure, follow the treatment decided upon, return for follow up visits and complete the treatment process effectively. This issue of site news helps you access different sources of information for both educating the patient and his community as well as looking at what the healthcare provider can do to empower its patients.

Happy reading!


Vision 2020 e-resource team
The Issue Features...
Patient Empowerment
Vol. 6 No. 7 July 2009
•   Introduction
•   Need for Patient Empowerment
•   Patient Rights and Expectations
•   Source of Information
•   Self Advocacy
•   Featured Organisation
•   Talk to Us


Patient empowerment is a high priority for healthcare policy makers in many countries. By increasing the role of patients, health care providers should become more responsive to patients' needs and preferences and deliver better quality care. Patients can participate in health care in many ways. These include communicating directly to healthcare professionals in patient centred consultations; contributing to routine practice outside the consultation through quality of life questionnaires and patient satisfaction surveys; and, increasingly, by using information on health and health care through internet channels.

  • This article tells about the patient empowerment concept and how this important concept can be translated to improve the delivery of patient-centered care.


  • "Patient-centeredness" is a dimension of health care quality in its own right, not just because of its connection with other desired aims, like safety and effectiveness. Its proper incorporation into new health care designs will involve some radical, unfamiliar, and disruptive shifts in control and power, out of the hands of those who give care and into the hands of those who receive it. Such a consumerist view of the quality of care, itself, has important differences from the more classical, professionally dominated definitions of "quality." New designs, like the so-called medical home, should incorporate that change.


  • This article talks about the patient empowerment. This also contains many websites, organizations and facilities which empowers patient. The article emphasis that we maintain some control over our own health and what is happening to us, it will really help us feel better and probably heal faster too when faced with a major health challenge.


  • This article highlights on patients perspective on being 'empowered'.


  • The authors want to show the implication of interactive ICT on patient empowerment, through an overview of some of the key aspects - EHR, telecare and patient.


  • This paper represents the collective view of the Derbyshire Coalition of Disabled People. This means that the question of "patient" empowerment has been opened up to reflection and critical analysis by disabled people who have direct experience both as consumers of health services and as members of a group exposed to extensive discriminatory practices in many areas of social life.


Patient empowerment pervades clinical practice, teaching and research: patients are expected to take control over their illnesses or treatments where possible, and doctors are expected to encourage or 'empower' them to do so. The concept is in tune with a wider political and cultural emphasis on individual choice, and gains scientific justification from psychological research and theory that attests to the superiority of ways of coping with challenges including illness or treatment that exert control over the challenge. The validity of the view that patients should be empowered to take control and make choices is therefore widely assumed to be unassailable.


Patient's has both rights and responsibilities when they go to hospital. This relates to reasonably expected from the hospital, its staff and the comfort and welfare of other patients. The current legal regulations have higher standards than the expectations of the patients. The reason that the satisfaction of the patient is high level is interpreted due to the fact that the level of the expectation is low. It is suggested that the educational and public awareness studies on the patients' rights must be done in order to increase the expectations of the patients. Sources International / multinational patient rights documents National documents on patients' rights Human rights organizations and documents


The frequency of use of sources of information about medications used for patients and other issues of medical management are obtained from Internet. Also the power of word of mouth has always seen to be a powerful source to get more patients. In this section you have articles which cover how patients can be used to motivate others in the community to come to the hospital.


Advocacy is the act of arguing on behalf of a particular issue, so that it gets the attention it deserves, or on behalf of particular groups of people, so that their voices are heard and their interests are taken into account. Usually these groups are vulnerable or disadvantaged in some way, for example: women, children, the elderly, and the visually impaired. The aim of advocacy is to persuade those in authority or those with influence to use their authority to promote actions that are desirable and beneficial for a particular group of persons. A related word is "lobbying"; it is used when people work to achieve a specific goal (often in their own interests) by influencing authorities or elected officials. "Health activism" is another related concept, which describes people actively striving for better health, on behalf of themselves and others.


International Alliance of Patients' Organizations

     IAPO is a unique global alliance representing patients of all nationalities across all disease areas and promoting patient-centred healthcare around the world. Our members are patients' organizations working at the international, regional, national and local levels to represent and support patients, their families and carers. A patient is a person with any chronic disease, illness, syndrome, impairment or disability. IAPO's vision is that patients throughout the world are at the centre of healthcare. IAPO's mission is to help build patient-centred healthcare worldwide by:
  • Realizing active partnerships with patients' organizations, maximizing their impact through capacity building
  • Advocating internationally with a strong patients' voice on relevant aspects of healthcare policy, with the aim of influencing international, regional and national health agendas and policies
  • Building cross-sector alliances and working collaboratively with like-minded medical and health professionals, policy makers, academics, researchers and industry representatives

Website : www.patientsorganizations.org


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Vision 2020 e-resource team,
Lions Aravind Institute of Community Ophthalmology,
1, Annanagar, Madurai - 625 020,
Tamil Nadu, India,
Phone: 91-452-2537580


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