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Patient centered care is the hallmark of quality health care. This approach encourages respectful and responsive collaboration between health care professionals and patients and takes into consideration patients’ preferences, needs and values. Patients play an integral role in the management of their rheumatic condition and are key in helping the health care provider make an accurate diagnosis and co-creating an optimal treatment plan.
As a patient, you have some basic rights that inform all aspects of your care and interactions with health care providers. These rights include:
As a patient, you too have a number of responsibilities to ensure the care received is appropriate and has the greatest chance of being effective
Most medical and rehabilitation care for patient with rheumatic conditions can be provided through private, clinic or outpatient based services. Admission to a hospital for initial diagnosis, testing and management of acute disease may be needed in some cases. Surgery such as a partial or total joint replacement also requires a short hospital stay and in some cases, admission to an inpatient facility for further rehabilitation care.
Ultimately the patient is responsible for his or her own health. However, a good patient-provider partnership is essential for effective health outcomes. A collaborative care process not only enhances the care plan and improves treatment outcomes but also can increase patient safety. This type of patient engagement can often lead to more tailored health care interventions and allow patients to be actively involved in the decision-making process around what works best for their health.
Overall, patients need to learn as much as possible about their rheumatic condition, appropriate treatment options, strategies to maintain mobility and day-to-day activity, and diet and rest requirements needed to maintain energy and participate in valued community, leisure and work activities. Working together with health professionals, the engaged patient becomes empowered to meet the challenges of their illness with knowledge, confidence and energy.
This information is provided for general education only. Individuals should consult a qualified health care provider for professional medical advice, diagnoses and treatment of a medical or health condition.
© 2015 American College of Rheumatology