What is The Patient Activation Measure?
Oncology is a field that has been quick to embrace the concept of patient activation as a way to improve outcomes. The Patient Activation Measure (PAM) is an evidence-based tool developed by researchers at the University of Oregon and InSignia Health Services Research, Inc.
It is designed to measure how well individuals can understand and use healthcare information and services and how confident they are in managing their health and care.
Motivating cancer patients to become more active in their care is the ultimate goal of PAM. We will explain the details of the PAM system and how it helps Oncology doctors to help patients in this article.
How Does the PAM System Work?
The PAM system is designed to measure and track patient activation levels over time, allowing healthcare professionals to understand their patients’ needs better. The system works by providing a questionnaire that helps assess an individual’s current level of understanding about their health and ability to take action on this information. The questionnaire includes four sections: Information Management, Decision Making, Self-Care, and Advocacy.
The questionnaire is then used to assign the patient an activation level ranging from one (lowest level) to four (highest level). Scores of one indicate that a person needs assistance understanding the type of health information they are presented with and how to use it to make sound decisions regarding their health. Scores of two indicators that a person can understand the information presented and recognize when action is needed but might need assistance.
Three scores suggest that a person has acquired enough understanding and skills to manage their health but still needs guidance. Finally, a score of four means a person is confident in their ability to understand the information presented and make decisions based on it.
How Do Oncology Practices Measure and Increase Patient Activation?
Oncology practices use the Patient Activation Measure (PAM) to gauge patient activation. Here are the steps oncology practices take to measure and increase patient activation:
1. Assess patients’ knowledge, skills, and confidence using PAM:
The Patient Activation Measure (PAM) is an evidence-based tool used to assess patient activation. It has been validated in various settings and can be used to compare patient activation across different patient populations.
2. Develop a care plan based on PAM results:
An individual’s PAM result can create an individualized care plan tailored to the patient’s knowledge, skills, and confidence. This care plan may involve providing information about disease management or other self-care practices, encouraging the patient to participate in decision-making, and ensuring they have access to the necessary resources.
3. Monitor patient activation:
Practices can use PAM scores as a baseline to measure changes in patient activation levels over time. This allows practices to observe the impact of interventions, such as providing educational materials or engaging patients in shared decision-making.
4. Offer educational materials to increase patient activation:
Practices may also provide educational materials such as booklets, videos, or online courses to help patients learn more about their condition and available treatments.
5. Engage in shared decision-making with patients:
Shared decision-making is integral to patient engagement. Engaging patients in a dialogue about their condition, treatment options, and potential risks can empower patients to be active in the decision-making process regarding their care.
By leveraging the Patient Activation Measure (PAM) and taking these steps, oncology practices can measure patient activation levels and take action to increase them. Call Guideway Care to learn more about how we can help you better understand and activate your patients.
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