Patient-Administered Self-Care

Martin L, Anderson A. Patient-Administered Self-Care. IHI Innovation Report. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Institute for Healthcare Improvement; July 2017.

Patient-administered self-care occurs when providers train individuals to deliver their own care, on their own time, without supervision or dependence on a licensed professional. Naturally, not every procedure can transition out of the provider’s hands and into the patient’s. For those procedures that can, the potential to create value for patients and health systems must be explored.

The primary aim of the innovation project described in this report was to evaluate whether a working model of patient-administered self-care could be broadened to include medical care for additional procedures that have traditionally required a licensed professional to administer. A second aim was to explore whether such a model could present an opportunity for health systems to more effectively use health care system resources, enhance the patient’s experience of care, improve quality and safety, and reduce costs.

The report reviews two primary approaches to patient-administered self-care; provides examples of two health systems’ experiences with implementing self-care for dialysis and intravenous antibiotics; and presents four components of a successful patient-administered self-care system.

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