Originally posted May 5, 2014
By Lindsay Heuser
Dear (future) self,
I imagine that you’re busy right now. Like really busy. Like the coffee-driven, adrenaline-fueled, sleep-deprived kind of busy that you experienced to a lesser degree in medical school except now you’re actually expected to care for patients. Of course, by “care for patients,” I mean “avoid doing dumb things to patients.” A terrifying thought, the burden of patient care, but I’m sure you’re learning and becoming more confident by the day. Why, you’re becoming a real physician now! No longer do you float around the hospital following the residents around like a duckling, attempting to show that you too can think independently and provide assessments and plans like a good medical student. No, you are the resident now. The follower has become the followed. You are the mama duck.
By Jennifer J. Salopek
Patient engagement. Patient-centered care. Patient empowerment. E-Patients. Relationship-centered care. All of these phrases and more have featured prominently in the health care conversation since the passage of the Affordable Care Act. While there is no doubt that patients must be actively involved in their own health and in the redesign of our health care system, how do we ensure that they are equipped to participate fully and sufficiently connected to make a difference?
A new organization, the Patient Voice Institute, aims to answer those questions and more. Founded by Pat Mastors and Diane Stollenwerk in response to the launch of the National Quality Forum’s Partnership for Patients. “That just struck us the wrong way,” says Stollenwerk. “Where was the partnership with patients?”
By Megan Sandel, MD, MPH
Early in my residency, a young girl was hospitalized in the intensive care unit for a severe asthma attack. We were puzzled; her asthma was previously well controlled. But a single piece of vital information explained everything: The family had just gotten a cat and the girl was severely allergic. Her parents found a mouse in her bed and they had tried to get their landlord to fix problems with the building, but he was unresponsive. Desperate, her parents faced an awful choice: live with the mice that were making their daughter sick, or get a cat that was just as harmful to her health. As her physician, I knew none of the medicines I could give her would help her breathe well in her home. The prescription I wanted to write was for healthy housing.
By Peter Pronovost, MD
Originally posted June 2, 2014
Recently in one of The Johns Hopkins Hospital’s intensive care units, a patient was dying from cancer and sepsis, and there was nothing that I, nurse Mandy Schwartz or anyone else could do to stop it. Yet as the patient’s family—two daughters and a husband—suffered at her bedside, Mandy saw their need for comfort, and she responded. Although she was busy with nursing tasks, she delved into the inner life of the patient and family. She helped the mother look as good as possible—hair combed, face washed, a clean gown and sheets. She made sure the patient was pain-free and not anxious. She hugged one daughter who was “a hugger” and avoided embracing the other daughter who wasn’t. She sat with the family, listened and supported them in their anguish.
By Jennifer J. Salopek
In an event yesterday in Los Angeles, representatives of the UCLA Institute for Innovation in Health highlighted regional health care ingenuity as they released the results of the first “innovation scan.” The event, “Los Angeles Innovates: Meeting New Demands for Access to Health Care,” showcased many of these solutions in an Innovation Gallery at Martin Luther King, Jr., Community Hospital.
“The goal of the scan was to find innovations that radically improve cost and access, but can also transfer and scale across diverse marketplaces,” says Molly Joel Coye, MD, MPH, chief innovation officer of UCLA Health System and director of the Institute. Researchers sought projects with documented evidence of meaningful savings (roughly 20 percent reduction in total cost per patient group) and improved patient access and/or clinical outcomes. Continue reading
By Ulfat Shaikh, MD
Originally posted May 18, 2014
As a pediatrician, it is sobering to realize that the factor with the highest impact on my young patients’ health is not a clinical breakthrough. It is whether they and their parents complete high school. Even after taking income or race into account, educational attainment, or the years of schooling an individual has, remains one of the strongest social determinants of health.
People with more years of schooling don’t just prosper. They live longer. They exercise more, eat healthier food, don’t smoke, get regular health care, and have better health outcomes. College graduates live at least 5 years longer than people who do not finish high school. Continue reading
Health Care Bloggers -
It’s Health Care Social Media Review time again — and the Wing of Zock is hosting the June 11 Review!
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-Wing of Zock Editorial Team
By Sarah Sonies
Health care and insurance specialists predict that within a few years, almost the majority of health care will be delivered virtually.
In remarks two weeks ago in the opening of the 2014 American Telemedicine Association (ATA 2014) annual meeting and technology trade show, Edward M. Brown, ATA president and CEO of the Ontario Telemedicine Network (OTN) discussed the future of technology in care delivery.
“I fully believe that within the next five years, more than 50 percent of health care delivery will be virtual,” said Brown.