Supporting and educating patients is a shared objective among patient advocacy organizations. However, it is important to note that many patient advocacy organizations find engaging with healthcare professionals (HCPs) equally as important, as it ultimately enhances the quality of patient care.
Bridging the gap through shared decision making
Promoting conversation between HCPs and the patient advocacy community is a primary focus for the Urology Care Foundation (UCF). More specifically, shared decision making (SDM), the process of reaching clinical and care decisions through an educated discussion between patient and clinician, is incorporated into the UCF’s education and awareness campaigns.
“Encouraging SDM is an important message for patients to hear,” explains Jessica Bateman, Patient and Research Advocacy Manager at the UCF. “If patients feel empowered to ask questions and communicate with their HCP, they will play an active role in making decisions about their treatment plan.”
Building materials for the professional community
The UCF aims to support the professional community by providing resources and educational materials to help start that conversation and elevate interactions between HCPs and their patients.
Housed on the Foundation’s website, alongside its many educational materials for patients, are HCP-focused resources such as screening checklists, urology health publications and advice for talking to patients about their symptoms and quality of life issues.
“We value creating thought-provoking, useful information for patients and HCPs to improve communication between the two,” said Nicole Ramey, Patient Education and Grants Manager at the UCF. “By doing so, it ultimately results in better care and outcomes for patients,” shared Ramey.
This November, as part of Bladder Health Month, new resources for patients and physicians are available. The process for creating these resources always includes a patient from the outset to make sure the materials align with what patients would like physicians to help them with.
Bringing healthcare professionals to the table
Every year, the Foundation hosts a roundtable discussion for the Bladder Health Alliance – a group of more than 30 patient, physician and research advocacy groups with a shared objective of raising awareness for conditions impacting bladder health and ultimately removing stigmas associated with these conditions.
Having patients, physicians, and researchers at the table creates transparency and awareness about advocacy priorities and creates a unified partnership that improves patient quality of care.