Empowering ePatients to Drive Healthcare Reform - Part III

Ramona Nelson, PhD, BC-RN, ANEF, FAAN


Online J Issues Nurs. 2018;23(1) 

In This Article

Abstract and Introduction


Historically, the American healthcare delivery system has rewarded providers for the number of patients seen and procedures performed. For example, seeing twice as many patients in a day resulted in more income for providers; and admitting more patients to a hospital enabled the hospital to collect more money. Today, the American healthcare delivery system is transitioning from a volume-based approach to a value-based approach. As this transition progresses, providers will be increasingly rewarded for the quality of care provided as measured by patient outcomes; ePatients are one of the major forces driving this transition.

This Column, Part III, is the third of a three-part series dealing with ePatients and implications for nursing. Part I of the series described the concept of ePatients. ePatients are equipped, enabled, empowered, and engaged in their health and healthcare decisions. They use the internet to gather information related to their health, they use electronic communication tools (including Web 2.0 and Web 3.0 tools) in managing their health. Part II explored the role of the United States (U.S.) Federal Government in empowering ePatients. This column, Part III, points out that there is still much work to be done, and calls on nursing to play a leadership role in ensuring the empowering of ePatients.