ROCKVILLE, Md., March 20, 2018 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A new report released by the National Council on Patient Information and Education (NCPIE) highlights the need for advancing self-care in the United States and introduces an agenda to achieve greater awareness of self-care. The report, entitled Empowering Americans to Take Greater Responsibility for Their Health: A Roadmap for Building a National Self-Care Movement in the U.S., calls attention to a rapidly aging population as well as the increasing burden of both minor and chronic illnesses in the U.S. With the nation spending over $3 trillion annually on healthcare and with 80% of Americans expected to have at least one chronic condition by 2030, costing society more than $42 trillion in medical expenditures and losses in productivity, the U.S. health system is in a state of disrepair. This report sheds light on how self-care has the potential to improve individual health and reduce medical costs.
Despite surveys indicating increased public support for self-care, and the inclusion of self-care as part of the Institute of Medicine's four pillars of healthcare, the U.S. has yet to embrace self-care as an essential component of the nation's health system due to a multitude of institutional shortcomings including: lack of standard definitions, low health literacy among medically underserved communities, insufficient education and training for healthcare professions, and other impediments.
The NCPIE report is a result of input provided by a panel of experts representing various stakeholder perspectives. Input from the panel enabled NCPIE to formulate the following six national priorities as they pertain to self-care:
- Elevate self-care as an essential component of health care.
- Agree on a common definition of self-care to unite the public health community.
- Mount a unified and sustained national awareness campaign that empowers Americans to make self-care decisions at different life stages.
- Address the self-care information needs of Americans with low health literacy.
- Create a supportive environment for health professionals to advance self-care.
- Address roadblocks to greater self-care practices.
On the formulation of this national strategy, NCPIE Executive Vice President Ray Bullman states, "What follows are the findings from this comprehensive review and a blueprint for accelerating progress in self-care strategies to manage minor ailments as well as chronic conditions. We know that strengthening and advancing self-care could help Americans avoid 50 million unnecessary visits to primary care physicians each year, saving over $5 billion per year. Furthermore, if 10 percent of Americans with chronic diseases adopted informed self-care practices, $6.6 billion in avoidable health costs would be saved annually, and greater use of self-care could net the economy up to 30 percent of unnecessary health costs. Now is the time for all stakeholders to join together and make self-care a national priority."
The final report can be viewed here.
Established in 1982, the National Council on Patient Information and Education (NCPIE) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit coalition of diverse consumer, government, patient advocacy, health professional and public health organizations working together to improve health and stimulate conversation between healthcare professionals and patients about the safe, appropriate use of medicines. We help consumers make sound decisions about their health and about the prescription and over-the-counter medicines they take. Visit www.BeMedWise.org to learn more.
National Council on Patient Information and Education (NCPIE)
SOURCE National Council on Patient Information and Education