Abu Dhabi: With easier accessibility to online information, patients are becoming more sophisticated and knowledgeable about their health conditions, and this has prompted hospitals to involve individuals in the type of health care services they need and expect.

During day two at the World Health Care Congress 2010, health professionals spoke about ways to advance consumer roles in the health care sector, by giving patients, families and sponsors insurance bodies, hospitals, advocacy and support group's more ownership to help improve health care strategies in any given country.

"It's important to set national standards based on what kind of preventive schemes need to be put in place based on what consumers need, as well as the kind of curative system society demands," said Abdullah Bin Zarah, Executive Director for Clinical Affairs at the Sultan Bin Abdul Aziz Humanitarian City in Riyadh.


As much as technology has become a necessity to help make patient and health care literature available, new innovations in technology should not hinder services offered to patients, added Bin Zarah.

"If hospitals or health authorities start to involve their patients, we will witness a healthy society, enhanced patient safety and care, identify needs and priorities of consumers, have less health care bill's to deal with, with less burden on health care providers."

Cathy Easter, President and Chief Executive Officer at Methodist International in Houston, feels that the internet was a major game changer for patients who need information regarding certain health related issues. This should prompt health care providers to encourage consumers to engage in the system.