06.11.2019 Improving care by engaging with patients and their families
Health policy measures should always be geared not only to the requirements of the people affected by them, but also to their needs. That is why the FOPH is endeavouring to include these people in the process of developing strategies and action plans right from the outset.
This issue of spectra is about engaging with patients, health insurance policyholders and local residents. There are many ways that people in Switzerland can help improve healthcare provision. As a patient, for example, I can play an immediate and active role in treatment decisions. However, patient or health organisations can also advocate my views in health policy processes and I can express my preferences myself by voting.
To be able to contribute actively to treatment decisions, however, we first have to have some understanding of the illness affecting us. The electronic patient records (EPRs) that are due to be rolled out throughout Switzerland from spring 2020 will give us, as patients, new ways of finding out more. With the arrival of EPRs, not only will professionals be able to consult our medical history wherever and whenever they need it, but, for the first time ever, we will be able to do so ourselves.
If I have an illness or accident, it not only affects me but also affects my family. Family members can play a crucial role in my recuperation, either by offering emotional support or by actively helping with household chores or caring for me. To ensure that family carers do not get overburdened, they have been put at the
centre of the research projects being undertaken as part of the “Relief services for family carers” promotional programme.
Everything we do as public health professionals should be guided by patients and their families.
Salome von Greyerz,
Head of Health Strategies Division at Federal Office of Public Health