The large concept of patient engagement was the topic of one of the side events of the European Innovation Partnership on Active and Healthy Ageing (EIP AHA) Conference of Partners, on March 1st 2018. The Patients Engagement Consensus Workshop, organised by the Università Cattolica di Milano (Italy) – represented by Guendalina Graffigna- was the occasion to explain the process involving more than 100 experts, 14 patients’ and older people’s organisations, 6 universities and 4 Italian regions to gather consensus on terminology and practices of patients engagement.
This concept is defined as an umbrella term that qualifies the systemic relation that occurs between the demand and the supply of healthcare, at different levels and in different situation. Under this perspective, patient engagement overarches the other terms more traditionally used to denote the active role of patients in their care such as patient adherence, patient compliance, patient involvement, patient participation, and patient activation, and illustrates a more complex ecosystem where multi-stakeholders involvement is essential.
AGE Platform Europe could help couple this vision with its broad perspective on healthy ageing and age-friendly environments, enriching it with its experience on engagement of older people, especially via its research projects, in particular the lessons learnt by the SUSTAIN case story in Estonia was at stake: a remote nursing home and day care center in a rural area of Estonia operated a real paradigm shift in the internal management of its staff and its working routines, at the benefit of the resident older persons. Starting from the willingness to make the working environment a safer one, the center moved from the simple compliance to the occupational and safety laws to the delivery of a totally improved, person-centred and trustworthy service, radically changing working and care routines and implementing actual quality of care.
From its side, the European Commission is working on a paper devoted to the digitalization of health, to be issued in spring 2018. In consultation with the EU Member States and citizens, the paper will especially cover the issues of
a) data and its security,
b) patient-centered care and integrated care, and
C) patients empowerment and awareness.
Next steps will encompass a major information campaign on patient engagement, which will widen the consensus gathered across regions in Europe and leverage on the EIP AHA network of partners and reference sites to move beyond the Italian borders. The objective will be to change the perspective on user engagement for the benefit of all citizens and societies.