Tools and apps designed to engage children and families in their care are proliferating. But are they meaningful? At its best, patient engagement isn’t just technology that brings lab results and medication reminders to a patient’s or parent’s iPhone. It’s about creating a relationship in which families are able to specify their care needs; clinicians and families learn from each other; and patients and families are able to manage their own care.
Patients and families are not just consumers of health care—they define goals and priorities. Their insights are essential.
A powerful tool for supporting a meaningful family/provider relationship is the Care Map. It was developed by Cristin Lind, parent of a child with special needs, who found herself in the role of care coordinator,
The recent shootings in Newtown, Conn., have revived the long-standing debate about gun control in the United States and rightly put a spotlight on media and video-game violence. Importantly, this tragic event has also raised questions about the adequacy of our nation’s behavioral health system and whether troubled children, adolescents and their families have access to needed diagnostic and management services.
These questions aren’t new. And as care delivery models evolve in response to the demands for better care at lower costs, we have an opportunity to improve our behavioral health services.