Holly Gartmayer-Deyoung, B.S.N., M.B.A., is the Chief Executive Officer at Eastport Health Care, Inc. in Eastport, Maine.
Patients are becoming savvy consumers and will be key to accelerating patient safety improvement over the next few years. We need to continue to engage with patients and families, helping them learn and encouraging them to ask questions. We need to listen deeply and understand that people learn in different ways. Techniques such as motivational interviews can help care team members discern if patients fully understand their treatments and care plans, which is key to ensuring their safety. We need to make information available in different formats, such as graphics and podcasts, and provide resources in the patient’s own language when needed.