Exploring the Best Phrases to Describe our Model Patient Relationship

As we start to think about reaching out to the public to educate and engage them in the transformation taking place in the involvement of patients and families in medical care, it is becoming more and more important to explore the different phrases that will best catch what we are trying to do, and that also resonate with the public.

In doing so, we must remember that we will start with a public that is massively on our side about these issues, so this is about all how to have that make a difference in the institutions we are trying to change, rather than to persuade them of the value of the approach.

As part of that process, I have found myself thinking about different phrases to describe the culture we are trying to create.  Without in any way disparaging any of the alternatives, I thought maybe these quick almost slogan might at least demonstrate why I like the “patient partnering” phrase.

Patient Centered — “You take care of me, trying to do what I need and want.”

Patient Engaged — “You let me talk about what I want and experience — and you listen.”

Patient Partnered — “You treat me as an equal member of the team, with each of us having different skills, knowledge and experiences, and the potential to contribute in different ways.”

It wold be very interesting to see how such phrases might fare in focus groups and polls.  (Some readers might be interested in what happened when somewhat similar research and analysis was done about how to address and change public views about access to the legal system, here labeled “legal aid”.  Follow the link here. I will say that one of the most fascinating experiences in life was watching behind the two way mirror, with notification, of course.)