Communication  + Research + Coaching = Patient Empowerment

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As a nonprofit, The Patients' Project works          within the community to empower patients with the confidence-building skills to become health literate, a self-advocate, and a collaborative partner in one's healthcare.

Health literacy is the degree to which individuals have the capacity to obtain, process, and understand basic health information and services needed to make appropriate health decisions."    ~   U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2000

A well-documented fact is that one-half of patients leave their primary care visits not understanding what the doctor told them. Astounding.


Another documented fact is that 90% of adults have difficulty using information found in healthcare facilities most of which is written at a college level. The average patient reads at an eighth grade level. It's true.

It can be disarming to think that a college professor with a Ph.D is not necessarily health literate because he is weak in math. Or, that you can be health literate in the sense of personal wellness, but not when faced with a newly diagnosed illness which can overwhelm even those with advanced literacy skills. In these situations it is difficult to retain any health information.


Resource of the Week.


The American Geriatrics Society compiles and publishes the AGS Updated Beers Criteria for Potentially Inappropriate Medication Use in Older Adults.                      (latest version 2012).


If you'd like to download the pocket version of the Criteria, click the pdf icon below.

We invite you to learn with us and become an e-patient.


E-patients (informed healthcare consumers) are empowered by gaining knowledge from research on the Internet, social media, and meaningful communication with their peers and medical support team.   


Dr. Tom Ferguson coined the term "e-patient". He urged self-education and sharing knowledge with other patients. On the other hand, he urged doctors to collaborate with their patients not dictate their advice for medical interventions. The "e" initially stood for electronic (Internet-trained), but the phrase grew with our imaginations - equipped, empowered, enabled, engaged, equal, expert and emancipated. Dr. Ferguson died in 2006, but lived to see his vision on its way to becoming a reality.

Our Vision.

 All patients will have the opportunity and the tools to become empowered and live life longer, stronger and healthier. Armed with knowledge, they will be an equal partner with their physicians, and capable of choosing an intelligent, relevant path for whatever health issue they have.  

Presented by the

Harvard School of Public Health

Healthcare providers need to hear your voice.

The Patients' Project works with patients who need help and guidance to get on track for proper medical care. Patients are recommended by community-based partners or come from our own outreach efforts. We have partner- ships with national foundations, hospitals, community groups, other support groups, medical clinics and teaching institutions. Much of our material is gained through our own experiences and listening to the voices of the patient community on various email list servers, social media and at regional and national conferences and seminars. We like to call ourselves "health coaches" which evokes an image of intense activity with purpose, and knowledge of the "game".