News Headlines Article

Patient ‘Passports’ Make Sure People With Complex Cases Are Heard
The Wall Street Journal

A doctor comes to the patient’s hospital room with a clipboard, gives a brisk update on important points and then is gone, before the patient has a chance to digest the treatment plan or speak up about their own desires or concerns.

That all-too-common experience can leave hospital patients feeling powerless, intimidated and frustrated by the lack of opportunity to describe their needs or have a say in decisions about care. Some hospitals are turning to a document known as a “patient passport” to help bridge the communication gap.

Like a standard medical record, the patient passport has basic data such as medical diagnosis and prescription drugs. But there are also places where the patients provide the information, such as how they cope with health conditions and the activities they need assistance with, as well as their concerns about being hospitalized and their quality-of-life goals for after discharge. They may request counseling to help deal with illness, understand medical terms or discuss end-of-life care.