As I said Thursday, I spent the week at University Medical Center Nijmegen, an hour’s drive southeast of Amsterdam, where Lucien Engelen heads up a program called REshape – reshaping healthcare with patients truly at the center. I mean, at the center – not just the topic of discussion.
On Wednesday we held the first e-Patient Boot Camp, the six hour intensive, in-depth compilation of topics. That was a thrill – to see an action-oriented academic medical center seriously sinking its teeth into what this all means and what they can do with it, starting this week. And the night before we had a terrific prolog: an “e-Patient Workshop,” conceived and organized by REshape’s Stan Janssen. Here’s what it looked like:
(Stan is standing next to the screen.)
We started with lecture – the basics of e-patient-ness. But this time it was different, because the audience was six groups of patients with a common disease, each with one or more physicians who treat that disease, at that hospital. It was the first event I’ve seen where a hospital got to work on making participatory medicine a reality: patients networking, working closely with physicians, who welcome them as partners.
Stan and his team organized discussion assignments, and it was intense, because when I spoke with these patients about facing death and “your time will come,” it took no time at all for the relevance to be apparent. It was a three hour workshop, 5-8 pm, and many were still there when I left 45 minutes later. They were talking actively and in specifics about how to put these ideas to work. I can’t wait to watch their progress.
This was patient engagement on the hoof, people – taking root, new ideas sprouting. I know that’s a mess of mixed metaphors; I don’t care – it was beautiful.
Perhaps an event like this should happen the night before any Boot Camp, at a hospital or other venue. What do you think? After all, the whole point of a boot camp is to develop real skills and leave with abilities and actions that weren’t possible before.
p.s. On the far right is a man doing something I’ve never seen before: a simultaneous live translation into Dutch, being typed as fast as I could talk. He’s using a Velotype (Wikipedia), which I can only describe as a souped-up steno machine :-) hooked into Microsoft Word. Whatever they pay the guy, he’s worth it, because he produced a bilingual real-time experience with no pre-meeting discussion at all. He says Velotyping is three times faster than normal typing, and I believe it.