The evolving landscape of healthcare emphasises the pivotal role of patient empowerment and price transparency. Patient empowerment signifies a paradigm shift, positioning patients as active participants in their healthcare journey, contributing their knowledge and preferences to decision-making. This collaborative approach fosters a balanced patient-doctor relationship, ultimately leading to more tailored and effective healthcare choices.
What is Patient Empowerment?
While medical professionals possess formal education in healthcare, it does not imply that patients should be hesitant to provide input regarding their own well-being.
Patient empowerment, also known as "patient activation," is a term used in healthcare to describe the process of enabling patients to take an active role in managing their own health. This means that instead of solely relying on healthcare professionals, patients are empowered to actively participate in decisions related to their health, treatment, and lifestyle. A seemingly novel concept to many, patient empowerment goes hand in hand with a shift in the traditional patient-doctor relationship.
The traditional patient-doctor dynamic used to be more authoritative, with doctors making most of the decisions and patients following their instructions. The patient empowerment paradigm thus advocates for a reformation of this relationship. Through such a partnership, patients are viewed as active participants who contribute their own knowledge and preferences to the decision-making process. This shift aims to create a more balanced and collaborative interaction between patients and healthcare professionals (Wakefield et al., 2018).
What is Price Transparency?
In the realm of medicine, price transparency pertains to the availability of information concerning the expenses associated with pharmaceutical products and services. This transparency, when coupled with other relevant information, empowers consumers and patients to 'identify, compare, and select providers that offer the desired level of value' for the medical products and services they receive (Ahmad et al., 2020). This, in turn, enables patients to make more informed choices regarding their healthcare.
Linking back to patient empowerment, price transparency provides patients with options. The option of having a say in the treatment and medication they would like to receive. With price transparency and the advice of a healthcare professional, for example, patients may compare two similar medicines and select the option which suits their budgets, healthcare goals, and lifestyle.
Consequently, this process triggers a ripple effect within the private healthcare sector, compelling providers to explore ways to reduce the financial burden of medical treatments and medications on patients in order to remain competitive in the market. However, it's essential to acknowledge a legitimate concern regarding the potential impact on healthcare and medication quality (Barrenho and Lopert, 2022). This concern arises due to the pressures manufacturers and providers may face in their pursuit of competitiveness and profit maximisation, which could lead to potential compromises in standards. To combat this, a holistic approach must bolster price transparency with quality transparency and guidance from healthcare professionals. Indeed, certain research shows that patients can “identify high-value healthcare when presented with quality and cost data together” (Hibbard et al., 2012). Through this system, healthcare providers are also encouraged to maintain a high quality of care to retain patients, ensuring that patients perceive their services as invaluable.
In conclusion, by integrating patient empowerment, price transparency, and a commitment to maintaining quality, we can forge a path toward a healthcare system that not only provides accessibility and affordability but also upholds the highest standards of care for all individuals.
As a one-stop e-pharmacy, Glovida-Rx aims to empower patients to make informed healthcare choices that suit their needs and lifestyles, bringing both medication and professional advice conveniently to our customers. Our accessible, friendly pharmacists are reachable via WhatsApp at 81015555 and through email at firstname.lastname@example.org for prompt answers to your medication-related questions. Through Glovida-Rx, you will never have to be afraid of making healthcare choices for you or your loved ones.
- Ahmad, N. S., Makmor-Bakry, M., & Hatah, E. (2020a). Drug price transparency initiative: A scoping review. Research in Social and Administrative Pharmacy, 16(10), 1359–1369. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.sapharm.2020.01.002
- Barrenho, E. and R. Lopert (2022), "Exploring the consequences of greater price transparency on the dynamics of pharmaceutical markets", OECD Health Working Papers, No. 146, OECD Publishing, Paris, https://doi.org/10.1787/c9250e17-en.
- Hibbard, J. H., Greene, J., Sofaer, S., Firminger, K., & Hirsh, J. (2012). An experiment shows that a well-designed report on costs and quality can help consumers choose high-value health care. Health affairs (Project Hope), 31(3), 560–568. https://doi.org/10.1377/hlthaff.2011.1168
- Wakefield, D., Bayly, J., Selman, L. E., Firth, A. M., Higginson, I. J., & Murtagh, F. E. (2018). Patient empowerment, what does it mean for adults in the advanced stages of a life-limiting illness: A systematic review using critical interpretive synthesis. Palliative Medicine, 32(8), 1288–1304. https://doi.org/10.1177/0269216318783919