How can patients be empowered by cancer care providers? Expert Beth Sandy from Abramson Cancer Center shares her perspective and actions she takes to help activate patients in their care.
I think the best way for me to empower my patients is to be optimistic and to give them hope and because I’ve seen a lot of good stories. I also think one of the best ways to empower patients is to get to know them and who they are as a person and what is important to them, because then we can tailor our treatments and our discussions to what is important to them. I think another way to empower patients is to give them time to ask questions and frequently I’ll say, “Do you have any other questions?” I always ask that before we leave the room. “Do you have any other questions for me? Do you understand everything that we’ve said?”
Another way is to make sure they know how to get in touch with me. So I personally really like the online portal. So patients can send us messages through the portal, but they can certainly call as well. But make sure they know how to get in touch with you, because that’s something that can be really scary when you’re at home and you’re worried about something, and you don’t know how to get in touch with your care team.