With my Degree Project I wanted to explore the possibilities to improve the information process at the II Cardiology Department of North Estonia Medical Centre. Through research, the topic was narrowed down and focused on supporting patient communication and decreasing information gaps in the treatment process.
North Estonia Medical Centre is one of the biggest hospitals in Estonia, housing one of the largest interdisciplinary cardiology centers focusing on preventing, diagnosing and treating heart disease. As part of the Cardiology Center, II Cardiology Department provides treatment procedures for people suffering from different heart conditions. Providing patients with a timely and thorough explanation of the upcoming treatment journey is an important cornerstone in doctor-patient communication. Moreover, the way health information is delivered, affects the patient's involvement in decision making and adherence to the treatment. When information is presented in an accessible way, it will be better understood in order to make informed decisions.
My solution is a patient leaflet that acts as a tool to support patient communication aiming to increase patient participation in the communication process. The leaflet consists of a question prompt list and components that help the person to think through the topics and questions they want to discuss with their doctor before meeting them prior to the procedure. The leaflet also provides a simple overview of what to expect at each step of the treatment process and suggestions on what to keep in mind.
By encouraging patients to think through relevant questions and topics they want to address, it might help to improve their ability to share information and be a part of the communication process. In order for the patients to be more engaged they also need to be informed and have a clear understanding of their treatment.