Tag Archives: ePatients

Patient engagement as described by 31 non-patients

6 Jul

by Carolyn Thomas  @HeartSisters

I was one of the patients interviewed for the recently published Center for Advancing Health report called Here to Stay: What Health Care Leaders Say About Patient Engagement.  It’s an interesting, illuminating and frustrating document to read.

The late Dr. Jessie Gruman, president and founder of the CFAH, wrote in her forward to this report:

“What are people talking about when they say ‘patient engagement’ anyway?  That phrase encompasses so many concepts and ideas that it’s become meaningless.”

As I said here, my own concern (as a person who’s pretty darned engaged in my own health care) is not that the phrase is meaningless. It’s more that non-patients, business and industry have co-opted the concept of patient engagement for their own purposes.

And consider also that, even in this impressive 170-page CFAH document that is all about patient engagement, there were only four patients interviewed – compared to 31 clinicians, employers/purchaser representatives, community health leaders, government organizations, health plan administrators, vendors, health care contractors and consultants.
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Patient engagement? How about doctor engagement?

9 Apr

by Carolyn Thomas  @HeartSisters

It’s a stressful time to be a patient these days, what with expectations running high that we should be both empowered and engaged while self-tracking every trackable health indicator possible – and of course retaining an all-important positive mental attitude – in order to change health care forever. 

Whew. I had to go have a wee lie-down just thinking about how big that responsibility may seem on days when we patients are feeling, yes, sick –  as an annoyingly significant number of patients living with a chronic and progressive illness tend to feel on any given day. That’s why we’re sometimes called “patients”.   Continue reading

Doctors who aren’t afraid of “Medical Googlers”

2 Oct

by Carolyn Thomas @HeartSisters

Many physicians worry about patients like me who go online to look up their medical conditions. They worry that we patients are not capable of understanding what we’re reading.  They worry that all that medical terminology is too confusing for us. They worry that patients don’t know how to research complicated medical issues. Patients, after all, haven’t been to med school and may be easily confused or mislead by what we find online.

Then there’s Dr. Joe Ketcherside MD.

He recently responded to my post called What Doctors Really Think of Women Who Are Medical Googlers (republished on LinkedIn’s Digital Health forum) – and with his kind permission, I’d like to share what one physician has to say to his worried colleagues:     Continue reading

My lowly beginnings as an empowered patient

16 Sep

by Carolyn Thomas  @HeartSisters

I still remember the day when it all began. I was very sick (don’t remember exactly what the sickness was, because I was only about five years old at the time). But I was sick enough for my mother to call our family physician, Dr. Zaritsky, who came right over to the house to see me.  (Yes, that is how old I am. I actually do remember when family docs made house calls).

Dr. Zaritsky declared that I needed an injection to treat whatever was ailing me, but – horrors! – the injection was to be done by pulling down my pajama bottoms and jabbing me right in the bare bum.

I was outraged!   Continue reading

Reliable health info from the ‘medically unqualified’?

16 Jun

by Carolyn Thomas     @HeartSisters

“Medical websites created by medically unqualified individuals (i.e. persons who are not physicians) are unreliable and should, de facto, be considered medically unsound. Don’t you agree?”

That’s a question that the late great Dr. Tom Ferguson said he was often  asked during his public talks and workshops. The pioneering physician, author and researcher studied and wrote about the empowered medical consumer starting in the 1970s – a time when most people had never even heard of such an animal.

So as one of those “medically unqualified individuals” who in 2009 launched this site about women’s heart disease, I was particularly interested in Dr. Tom’s answer to that question. Here’s what he wrote:*  Continue reading