Through Monday, January 11 I’ll be on reduced availability, for a period of “retreat and think.” It’s not a full-bore vacation; I’ll be reading and writing (and blogging), but I won’t be responding to most emails.
I can still be reached for anything time-sensitive and I will still monitor contacts from media and potential clients, per the Contact page.
Here’s a list of my favorites on this site from 2015. I’ll repeat something I said in August:
This year has already been full of change – Ginny’s knee replacements, Visiting Professor at Mayo, the first Patient Engagement Fellowship, new publications, and most of all, rethinking what “patient” means (and could mean), per the book that made paradigms famous: The Structure of Scientific Revolutions.
Later developments included the new medical school curriculum at RUMC in the Netherlands – redesigned with patients in the process(!), the first “Medicine X | Ed” medical education pre-conference at Stanford Medicine X (the most patient-centered conference in the world), and the first patient inducted into the Healthcare Internet Hall of Fame.
Our movement is gaining traction, and amid the hundreds of other good developments around the world, I want to draw attention to three this year that I think are seminal, real signs of a sea change in the culture of medicine toward viewing things from the patient’s perspective:
- February: Big BMJ supplement on Patient Centred Care – with many SPM and MedX voices
- When will America’s leading medical journals catch up?
- The Patient Voice Institute (GoPVI.org), founded in 2014, is doing a terrific job of building something of lasting impact, to hone, focus and develop the voice of patients. See this month’s announcement of their first Impact Award.
- After years of struggle, ClearHealthCosts is getting big-time credibility for its insistence (which I whole-heartedly agree with) that you can’t understand America’s medical money problem by only looking at “APCDs” (all-payer claims databases), because those only show you the current dysfunctional malarkey – if you can see them at all, which you often can’t. ClearHealthCosts digs up the person to person prices, and documents the enormous variation in prices (variations that would be considered insane in any other industry).
2015 – a few numbers:
Turned 65, lost 30 pounds, attended 62 events (51 speeches, 3 panels, 8 other) during 163 days on the road on 47 trips, totalling 108,471 miles to 51 cities in 5 countries, 98 blog posts (53 here, 45 on e-patients.net), and two journal articles in print, in the BMJ and my first article in a peer-reviewed journal as lead author, in the Journal of Oncology Practice: Open Visit Notes: A Patient’s Perspective and Expanding National Experience. Totals so far: 456 events, 14 countries, 750,000 air miles. And Let Patients Help is in nine languages now, including Chinese.
Who knew cancer could make life so fun – if you beat it?
Looking ahead to 2016
Back in 2012 the Institute of Medicine (now the National Academy of Medicine) said that our healthcare system must be “anchored in patient needs and perspectives.” Looking forward, two things became newly clear this year about achieving that:
- The greatest “ear” for this in the healthcare professions is in nursing – all levels, not least nurse practitioners
- It’s time for all of us in the patient world to get organized and achieve the power we rightfully deserve – because the whole industry wouldn’t even exist if it weren’t for our needs and problems, and we have every right in the world to declare when those needs and problems are not well addressed.
As alway I love the very best of medicine, which saved my life so I could walk my daughter down the aisle, meet my amazing granddaughter Zoe Grace, do all this travel and meet so many amazing people. All I want is for everyone with a problem to have access to what I had – the best of medicine.