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Health and Healthcare Seminar Series II. The Greatest Untapped Resource in Healthcare? Informing and Involving Patients in Decisions about Their Medical Care 12 Dec - 17 Dec, 2010
SUSTAINABILITYHealth and Healthcare Seminar Series II. The Greatest Untapped Resource in Healthcare? Informing and Involving Patients in Decisions about Their Medical Care12 Dec - 17 Dec, 2010




    There are two different but complementary problems facing policy makers in various countries that are calling out for change. In developed countries, there is concern that healthcare delivery systems are becoming overdeveloped and overspecialized, and that downsizing would yield more effective and efficient use of resources. Meanwhile, developing countries seek to expand their health systems to meet the challenge of demographic change and the increasing burden of chronic disease. In all countries rising public expectations impose additional pressures on the sustainability of existing systems, pointing to a need to rethink priorities and spending plans.

    It is critical that the well-being of patients remains at the center of healthcare. One essential part of ensuring that medical care best serves patients' interests is to make sure that patients themselves are routinely informed and engaged in decisions about their treatment and care. The science of evidence synthesis now makes it possible to provide patients with access to accurate, unbiased and balanced information in ways and to a degree that would previously have been impossible. This opens up the potential for new approaches in which patients are supported to play a key role as co-producers of health and managers of their own healthcare. Indeed consumers have been described as the greatest untapped resource in healthcare. Encouraging new evidence suggests that strengthening patient engagement could lead to more efficient and effective healthcare delivery. 

    Drawing on the growing body of research on the value of informing and involving patients and how to do it, this session will consider its implications for the quality, safety, effectiveness and efficiency of care, for professional training and regulation, for health literacy, for service design, and for patients themselves. These issues have not previously been presented and widely discussed in an international venue. The involvement of clinical leaders, policymakers, researchers and patient representatives from a wide range of countries will enable discussion and debate on the relevance of this approach to different healthcare systems and its potential to transform global healthcare.

    This session is being organized in collaboration with FIMDM, the Foundation for Informed Decision Making, a non-profit organization in the United States leading changes to ensure that health care decisions are made with the active participation of fully informed patients, and with the support of the Wellcome Trust.

    Salzburg Global Seminar is grateful to BUPA and Health Dialog for their support of this session.

    The session is also the second in a series of Salzburg policy forums on health and healthcare responding to the demographic, organizational, and financial challenges on the horizon for the coming generation. Among the outcomes will be a series of Salzburg papers on health and healthcare and a dedicated network of health and healthcare Fellows within the Salzburg Global Fellowship.

    Click here to visit Foundation for Informed Medical Decision Making


    Michael Barry
    President, Foundation for Informed Medical Decision Making
    Angela Coulter
    Director of Global Initiatives, the Foundation for Informed Medical Decision Making, Boston, US


    Kate Clay
    Program Director, Center for Shared Decision Making, Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, Lebanon, New Hampshire, USA
    Jennifer Dixon
    Director, The Nuffield Trust, London
    Susan Edgman-Levitan
    Executive Director, John D. Stoeckle Center for Primary Care Innovation, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts
    Glyn Elwyn
    Professor, The Dartmouth Center for Health Care Delivery Science, Hanover, NH
    Gerd Gigerenzer
    Director of the Centerfor Adaptive Behavior and Cognition, Max Planck Institute for Human Development, Berlin
    Carol Mangione
    Professor, Division of General Internal Medicine and Health Services Research, Department of Medicine, David Geffen School of Medicine, University of California at Los Angeles, California
    Ray Moynihan
    Reporter, Australian Broadcasting Corporation, Australia
    Albert Mulley
    Managing Director for Global Health Care Delivery Science, The Dartmouth Institute
    Gary Schwitzer
    Publisher of HealthNewsReview.org, Minneapolis, Minnesota
    Anne Stiggelbout
    Professor of Medical Decision Making, Leiden University Medical Center, Leiden
    John Wennberg
    Peggy Y. Thomson Professor (Chair), Evaluative Clinical Sciences; and Founder and Director Emeritus, The Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice, Hannover, New Hampshire