Using Healthcare Narrative Methods to Improve Outcomes

In healthcare, numbers matter.  They are the measures of physical condition – blood pressure, temperature, height and weight – in a patient profile. They govern the amount of time a provider spends with each patient daily in order to elicit the information needed for assessments and diagnoses.
Increasingly, research shows that a vital aspect of that information is the patient context: the environments, values, relationships and experiences that shape who patients are and how they live. This context directly impacts health, and shapes the challenges patients face in striving to be well; communicating about life outside the four walls of healthcare is thus integral to healthcare that addresses patients’ individual needs.