Recognizing the importance of educating patients so that they can engage in informed conversations with their physicians, Consumer Reports Health Impact partnered with the American College of Physicians (ACP) to host the second annual “Your Health: Fact Not Fiction” patient empowerment expo. More than 165 people attended this free event in Orlando, FL, on April 12, 2014.
The expo built on the success of previous collaboration between ACP and Consumer Reports; the two organizations partnered on a similar event in 2013 in San Francisco.
ACP faculty, including Drs. Philip Masters, John Whyte and Doug Paauw, presented advice on a host of health matters such as:
- where to look online for quality health information,
- how the Internet is helping patients understand what it means to get high-value care, and
- how to live longer and healthier lives.
Referencing its Choosing Wisely® list, faculty also addressed interventions that physicians and patients should discuss together, such as imaging for low back pain and preoperative chest X-rays.
To educate patients on the Choosing Wisely recommendations, Consumer Reports has produced more than 90 patient-friendly brochures in conjunction with the specialty societies and works with a stable of consumer communication partners, including AARP and the National Business Group on Health to distribute them broadly.
“We know educating patients leads to more productive conversations with their physicians,” said Lesley Greene, Associate Director, Health Impact Programs, Consumer Reports. “We estimate that 100 million people have had exposure to Choosing Wisely materials, and more and more of these important conversations are happening.”
Consumers were encouraged to attend the expo through a series of radio ads, community calendar listings and targeted placements in Consumer Reports publications aimed at subscribers in the Orlando area.
At the expo, Consumer Reports staff also provided attendees with information on a variety of topics, such as avoiding medication mistakes by avoiding unregulated, foreign websites, as well as by learning about generic alternatives and safety, efficacy and cost through its Best Buy Drugs campaign.
Staff also shared an “insider’s” look at the rigor that goes into testing products to ensure consumers get the best value for their dollar. Attendees walked through a case study that showed how Consumer Reports tests various products to better understand the steps it takes to make sure consumers are getting the best value for their dollar.
The key goals of the expo were to educate and engage consumers by meeting with them directly. After the event, 85% of attendees said they’d make lifestyle changes to improve their health. Due to the expo’s success, Consumer Reports and ACP will discuss ideas for future events to bring important messages, like those from the Choosing Wisely campaign, to more consumers.
Visit www.consumerhealthchoices.org for more information and to access additional materials.