You may be already familiar with the controversy that a couple of newspaper articles have generated regarding the tweets of Lisa Adams, a woman who is terminally ill, and who has been openly blogging and tweeting about her journey as a patient diagnosed with an incurable cancer. She is not alone in doing this. Dr Kate Granger is also a young woman diagnosed with a terminal cancer, as well as a doctor. She too has chosen to share her experience online, including very personal feelings and pictures of her ordeal.
One could look at this anecdotes phenomenon from many angles, and indeed most have been covered: ethical, public health, medical, social media, patient engagement… To me, the essence of the debate is a very old one: it all boils down to a power struggle, because the irruption of the Web 2.0 has fostered a paradigm shift within the healthcare landscape.
Not many years ago, the healthcare system was dominated by what has been called the biomedical model. In this model, doctors* knew best, and patients did not question what they were told. Patients were passive recipients of the medical knowledge. We could represent this model in a very simple diagram:
More recently though, things have changed. The biomedical model is slowly but steadily being replaced by the biopsychosocial model. There are many differences between this model and the traditional, biomedical model. I will only focus on the different doctor-patient interaction. In this model, patients take a proactive role. Instead of being passive, the patient has become an engaged and empowered stakeholder, thus changing the doctor-patient relationship
In my opinion, the debate about patients’ tweets is a symptom that shows how the establishment struggles with this new paradigm. I think it’s interesting how so many people are scared of social media, because it gives power to the people. Until now, it was just us (doctors, journalists, politicians, scientists…) who told things the way we thought they were. Our vision of the world was the right one, and “the lay person” listened. But now, with the Web 2.0 (and this includes social media), everyone and anyone can tell things the way they think they are, and our version of the story is no longer the right one. And we are forced to listen.
It is time that the self-appointed experts give some room to the patients, because thanks in part to social media they are going to take the centre stage whether you like it or not. After all, is this not the essence of patient-centred care?
* Just to make this post easier to read, I chose to simplify and use the word “doctor”. Of course I mean the medical establishment, including nurses, psychologists, psychiatrists, physiotherapists and so on. I’m sure you understand what I mean when I say “doctor”.
Over the past decade, patient-centered care has become a mantra for high-quality health care. Policymakers, researchers, physician-leaders, and patients have all cited the need for care to be tailored to patients' unique ...
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Healthcare's Future: Patient-Centered Care And Technology Healthcare Technology Online (press release) The eighth annual Future Physicians of America survey, conducted by Epocrates Inc., may serve as a good indication of what direction the...
Patients are central to healthcare delivery, yet all too often their perspectives and input have not been considered by providers.1 ,2 This is beginning to change rapidly and is having a major impact across a range of dimensions. Patients are becoming more engaged in their care and patient-centred healthcare has emerged as a major domain of quality.3–6
At the same time, social media in particular and the internet more broadly are widely recognised as having produced huge effects across societies. For example, few would have predicted the Arab Spring, yet it was clearly enabled by media such as Facebook and Twitter. Now these technologies are beginning to pervade the healthcare space, just as they have so many others. But what will their effects be?
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Patient-Centered Practices Can Save Docs $$$ MedPage Today Bachelder -- who used the information from the first quarter to hire a care manager in the second quarter -- calculated that the lack of follow-ups cost his hospital system roughly $999...
By Michael Young. As healthcare institutions work to meet the triple aim of reducing healthcare costs while improving quality of care and population-wide health, efforts to expand the role of patient involvement in clinical ...
MediSafe is a cloud-based app system — the patients get a reminder to take their meds on their Android or Apple smartphone app, and are then prompted to record it if they do. If they don’t indicate that they’ve taken their dose, a graduated series of friends and family is informed and can take action.
“It pushes you a notification when its time to take your meds,” MediSafe CEO Omri “Bob” Shor told MobiHealthNews in January. “The first one is a quiet one, like a text message. The second one is a louder one. The third one you can’t ignore, and the fourth one goes to your wife.”
The company will use the money to build up strategic partnerships with pharma companies, pharmacies, HMOs, employers and hospitals. MediSafe hopes to be valuable to those stakeholders because it not only can increase patients’ medication adherence, but it also collects de-identified aggregate data about patients’ adherence.
The coffee is a Colombian blend, bold, with a strong finish.
Should you find yourself occupying a patient bed at the new $1.3-million South Health Campus and in need of a caffeine fix, the Colombian brew is what’s on the menu.
The type of coffee was selected with the help of the hospital’s citizen advisory team, and is one of the small touches at the facility that reflect the community group’s input.
For the past half decade, as the hospital has risen from the grassy fields on Calgary’s southern edge, the 30 or so members of the citizen advisory team have provided advice and insight of the type that architects, medical professionals and even high-priced consultants can’t necessarily provide: the health-care consumer’s point of view.
“They’ve had input into the beds, the food, they got to chose the type of coffee served to in-patient rooms,” said Joanne Ganton, Alberta Health Services manager of patient and family centred care for South Health Campus.
“They have contributed quite a bit to the design and the feel of the campus.”
Ganton said the community input was part of the new hospital’s focus on wellness, and patient and family centred care.
Our transforming patient experience annual conference provided a forum for frontline staff, patients and policy-makers to come together to explore the possibilities for achieving truly patient-centred care in today's NHS.
This annual conference, now in its fifth year, highlights excellent work being done in the field of patient experience and provides a unique opportunity for health care professionals to network and discover innovative examples of high-quality, patient-centred care.
Havi Carel: hearing the patient voice
Havi Carel, Senior Lecturer in Philosophy at the University of the West of England, talks about her experiences of being a patient and draws on insights, ideas and techniques from philosophy to understand the experience of illness.
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