Empowering Ostomy Care: Bridging the Gap Between Standards and Practice

Navigating life with an ostomy presents unique challenges that demand not only medical but also emotional and lifestyle adjustments. Recent studies, particularly one highlighted by the United Ostomy Associations of America, shed light on a critical aspect of ostomy care— the disparity between the care that medical professionals believe they are providing and the experiences reported by patients. This insight paves the way for a deeper understanding and a call to action to enhance patient care and outcomes.

Understanding the Gap

The research brought to the forefront the differences in perceptions of care between patients and clinicians. For instance, a significant portion of patients reported not having discussions about the emotional impact of ostomy surgery, a stark contrast to the majority of clinicians who believed these discussions were taking place. This discrepancy highlights an essential area for improvement: communication.

The Role of the Patient Bill of Rights (PBOR)

The study also emphasizes the importance of the Patient Bill of Rights (PBOR) in ostomy care, suggesting that its consistent use could be beneficial for patient health outcomes. However, it revealed a significant gap in specific standards of care provided by clinicians versus the care patients reported receiving. The findings call for increased awareness and wider utilization of the PBOR to ensure every patient receives the highest quality of care.

Moving Forward: A Call to Action

The data presents a clear message—while strides have been made in ostomy care, there is still work to be done to ensure every patient feels heard, supported, and empowered in their journey. Here are a few steps we can take to bridge this gap:

  • Enhanced Communication: Healthcare providers should prioritize open, empathetic communication, ensuring patients feel comfortable discussing both physical and emotional aspects of living with an ostomy.
  • Education and Resources: Providing patients with comprehensive educational materials about ostomy care and management can empower them to take an active role in their care.
  • Utilization of PBOR: Embracing the Patient Bill of Rights as a standard part of ostomy care can help align clinician practices with patient needs, ensuring a consistent, high-quality approach.
  • Community and Support: Encouraging patients to connect with support groups and other individuals living with an ostomy can provide them with valuable insights and reduce feelings of isolation.


As we continue to strive for excellence in ostomy care, it’s crucial to listen to the voices of those we aim to serve. By bridging the gap between clinical standards and patient experiences, we can create a more inclusive, empathetic, and effective care environment for individuals living with an ostomy. Together, we can transform challenges into opportunities for growth, understanding, and enhanced wellbeing.

At Nascent4U, we are committed to empowering our community with knowledge, support, and resources to navigate life with confidence and dignity, regardless of the health challenges they may face. Let’s join hands in making high-quality ostomy care a reality for all.