The Patient Empowerment Network digital sherpa™ program empowers mostly older cancer patients to improve treatment outcomes through digital technology. Program participants learn skills including identifying credible online resources, using telemedicine and their patient portals, and how to use mobile devices to improve health.
Benefits program participants have learned include how to:
1. Use Patient Portals
Using patient portals can be helpful to save time for common tasks. Participants learn about booking health provider appointments, requesting prescription refills, and getting lab test results.
2. Perform Google Searches
Doing Google searches can be helpful when carried out with a watchful eye. Participants learn about performing Google searches, finding reliable sources, adding bookmarks for favorite websites, and copying and sharing links with others.
3. Utilize Social Media
Twitter and Facebook social media tools can be useful for those seeking more information and support. Participants learn the nuts and bolts of both tools including how to set up an account, checking and maintaining privacy settings, how to post or tweet, finding experts, connecting to online support communities, using hashtags and tweetchats, and posting photos.
4. Benefit From Telemedicine
Learning about telemedicine and best practices can be helpful for optimal visits. Program participants learn how to install video conferencing tools, how to be prepared for a telehealth visit, and who to contact if they run into issues.
5. Improve Health Travel
Using mobile apps can assist patients and care partners in health-related travel. Participants learn about the apps Uber and Lyft and are shown how to set up accounts.
6. Engage With Patient Communities
Engaging with patient communities can be reassuring for patients and care partners alike. Program participants learn about patient communities such as Inspire, PatientsLikeMe, MyLifeline, StupidCancer, HealthUnlocked, Cancer Support Community and how to join support groups in them.
By taking part in the digital sherpa™ train-the-trainer program, participants can learn valuable skills to gain confidence and to improve treatment outcomes through digital technology.