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Giving patients the ability to make decisions about their healthcare

An illustrated journey through the healthcare system

Healthcare decisions can be complex. There are several contributing factors and multiple treatment options, which can place patients in complicated, confusing – even alien – situations.

Inspired by her current work with the Victorian Managed Insurance Authority, BWA Research Fellow, Dr Breanna Wright, has been considering patient values and priorities and their interactions with healthcare professionals throughout their treatment journey – and how to illustrate that with an infographic.

Several surveys have shown that a significant proportion of patients would like to play a more active role in decisions concerning their health (Kiesler 2006). There is also some evidence that patient involvement can actually improve some health outcomes (Lewin 2001; Duncan 2010).

“Patient engagement can be thought of as a continuum,” says Dr Wright.

“The goal is not necessarily to move towards greater engagement for all patients, but to find a balance that suits them and their circumstances at the time of treatment.”

There are also many avenues and methods for engaging patients more in their healthcare, she says.

“By tapping into our knowledge about people’s behaviour and communication, we can better inform patient engagement strategies and techniques and align these with patients’ goals.”

Breanna created the infographic to give stakeholders a high-level overview of some the benefits and challenges of patient engagement and how a few behavioural insights could increase engagement.

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