Nurse say empowered patients may have better outcomes

Nurse Leader Insider, August 10, 2017

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A recent survey shows that 82% of nurses feel the positive effects of empowering patients.

Empowering patients has been a hot topic in care settings for the past few years. Patients are encouraged to take an active role in their care, asking about treatment options and making informed decisions about their care.

Medscape recently surveyed over 1000 nurses and physicians, and there were some surprising results. While a majority of nurses (82%) found this trend helpful, only 54% of physicians said patient empowerment was helpful. 39% of physicians said that patient research made care more difficult, and 21% of physicians said that patient empowerment was annoying; only 5% of nurses found patient empowerment annoying.

The reason so many physicians find patient empowerment challenging is the additional time burden: 92% of physicians and 95% of nurses said that patient research often adds time beyond the allotted minutes. Further, there was little consensus on whether patient empowerment improved outcomes; 48% of nurses said that empowerment led to better outcomes, while only 27% of physicians agreed. One physician wrote that patient research often just supported their preconceived notions, while a registered nurse argued that even bad information could lead to fruitful discussions that can improve outcomes.

For more on patient engagement and empowerment, check out these articles from Strategies for Nurse Managers Reading Room:

Nurses harness patient engagement tools to educate and empower patients

Hospitals focus on training staff members, engaging patients about safety issues

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