There are stages of any movement, and make no mistake, the shift to participatory medicine is a social movement, a full-bore cultural movement. It’s a change in roles, a change in expectations, a change in beliefs about the validity of a new party’s perspective – in this case, the patient’s.
I’m fond of pointing out milestones, the turning points in our movement. One was the founding of the Society for Participatory Medicine in 2009. Another was when patient voices started to be invited to speak about patient issues in Washington policy meetings. Another was when the Institute of Medicine said in 2012 that a cornerstone of medicine must be “Patient/Clinician Partnerships” with “Engaged, empowered patients.” Then the OpenNotes project, the BMJ editors announcing their Patient Advisory Panel, the founding of the Patient Voice Institute last year … all are signs of the movement maturing and gaining acceptance in the establishment.
Today I’m thrilled to announce a small but significant step in another dimension: NEHI, the Network for Excellence in Health Innovation, has offered me a Fellowship in Patient Engagement – a part time six-month project, advising them about patient perspectives.
Here’s NEHI’s vision map – click it to visit their site. And note what’s at the top of the circle: Evidence, Action, and Policy Impact. My kind of people!
Now the work starts. May this be the start of many such initiatives in many organizations that focus on improving healthcare!
For the record, here’s the 55 minute video of my keynote at NEHI’s 2013 annual meeting … as it says at the outset, this was a new approach: a new beginning and a new ending.
Thank you, NEHI, for your vision, and let’s do this thing!