While patients need health literacy to enter meaningful conversations with healthcare professionals, healthcare professionals need patient literacy to engage in these conversations. There is an increasing demand for co-production of healthcare through active patient engagement and shared decision making. Challenges in this process include the increasing number of patients with multimorbidity, hyper-specialization, fragmented healthcare and shorter time for patient encounters. At the same time, communication about health has become more complex through competitive health information on the internet and increasing use of clinical decision support, electronic patient records and mobile communication tools.
To ensure that healthcare responds to complex societal challenges and is delivered in an appropriate and efficient manner, the patient as the recipient of healthcare services has to remain at the center. Research on patientology puts patients in the center. It explores patients’ profiles, special needs and interactions within the complex cosmos of global, national and local actors and trends in healthcare and asks how the affordances of different technologies and different media and internet platforms are used and combined by patients. Healthcare professionals, physicians, nurses, psychologists, psychiatrists, dentists, and other health care providers are vital for the quality of the patient-healthcare professional encounter and ensuing relationship. Their values, experiences and perspectives about life, wellbeing and disease shape the communication and determine a consistent, informative and respectful service to patients and contribute to patient satisfaction.
The project will also contribute to research on the differences that exist among patients in relation to the use of Internet resources according to illness, how understandings of the respective diseases by those living with them are shaped through social media, and the implications social media use and associated information and experience sharing may have on everyday healthcare practices.
The patientology research platform as part of SDU’s Human Health vision aims at making a valuable contribution to the Danish health system and establishing SDU as a major actor for the development of innovative health promotion, diverse forms of treatment and rehabilitation, educational endeavours and international research collaboration.