What if patients had the solution?

Written by Giovanni Reibaldi, on 06 February 2018

Collective intelligence, participatory democracy, citizen involvement... Everyone talks about it, and we are increasingly called upon by society.

Local authorities are revitalizing community life with the residents of their territories. Many companies fund innovation projects proposed by their employees. Mutual insurance companies are rethinking their model with their members and activists.

Today, we, as citizens, have the opportunity to contribute by sharing our point of view, ideas, and skills in service of the collective.

And yet, hospitals struggle to transform through collaborative action. For decades, numerous projects have been launched in hospitals to reduce emergency waiting times, simplify bed or staff scheduling, improve working conditions for teams, navigate regulatory and procedural complexity, develop coordination between the hospital and the community, or rethink spaces... Despite the involvement of medical and caregiving teams and the quality of the projects undertaken, the results are not always as expected, processes remain imperfect, and the efforts of the teams are still challenging.

What if the patient had an idea for the solution?

Has the patient ever been directly involved? Can they have observed dysfunctions and identified symptoms? Can they also contribute their vision and perspective? Why couldn't they diagnose and participate in the treatment?

Today, patients participate through their representatives and patient associations integrated into hospital decision-making bodies and are involved in projects. However, it is not always the patient themselves who presents and advocates their ideas to the hospital. There is an intermediary, an indirect relationship mode. Patient participation could go much further, be more direct, open, and systematic.

Today, the patient is not only the one waiting for a consultation, treatment, or care at the hospital: they are also that citizen, that professional who offers a new perspective and brings a different angle of view.

Give the patient a voice, listen to the patient's voice

With "Hospital by Patients," a series of articles bringing together experiences in France, around the world, and interviews with hospital professionals, we aim to highlight projects that contribute every day to integrating the patient into this reflection on the hospital of tomorrow.

Thus, we wish to contribute not only to placing the patient at the heart of the reflection, as they always have been, but also to create a new role, that of a contributor, a partner: a patient-actor.

Travel through the Hospital by Patients: Canada, the United States, Belgium, the Netherlands, as well as France!