A pledge between doctors and patients

Patients are asked to sign a lot of papers. 

But there is an especially important document handed to patients about to undergo lung surgery at Baystate Heath Center in Springfield, Mass. — it's the Caregiver/Patient Pledge.

The pledge begins with:

We are committed to providing the care steps necessary to ensure the highest quality care before, during and after your lung operation. 

Medical research has shown that the stronger the partnership between you and your caregivers, the better your results will be.

Your active participation is one of the most important parts of this program.

“Our patients really liked the idea of having to sign the pledge, knowing they had their own job to do in getting back to health,” said Rose B. Ganim, MD, FACS, FCCP, Baystate thoracic surgeon. "And they liked seeing on paper that it wasn’t a bother to talk to their doctor about their worries and concerns."

The pledge was developed as part of Baystate's participation in the ProvenCare collaborative started by Geisinger Health System. ProvenCare has been shown to improve quality and lower costs and Geisinger has shared the best practice model with others, like Baystate.

It has long been known that patients who are active in their own care make the best patients and have the best outcomes. Putting these expectations in the form of a pledge gives patients and caregivers something they can hold in their hands and hold each other accountable to.

We've got a job to do. Now let's go do it together.

This post originally appeared on EngagingPatients.org, a blog dedicated to advancing patient and family-centered care. I am a member of the Engaging Patients Advisory Board and write for the blog.