It’s true. I’m much younger than the average age for hip replacement surgery. At 44, six years ago, an orthopedist replaced my left hip. Six months ago, a different orthopedist replaced my right hip. I guess you could say I’m “really hip.” To what, I am still trying to find out.
Today, as part of the growing movement to help customers access and securely share their own health information, several of the Nation’s largest retail pharmacy chains and associations are pledging to support the Blue Button initiative—a public-private partnership between the health care industry and the Federal Government that aims to empower all Americans with access to their own electronic health information.
I know I’m spoiled about access to personal health information. I get most of my medical care through Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) in Boston, which offers PatientSite, a patient portal where I’ve been able to see my laboratory and imaging results, correspond with my doctor by email, manage my medications, request appointments, and so on for many years. (Developers and physicians Danny Sands and John Halamka describe the PatientSite project in a book chapter available online from the Commonwealth Fund.)
Earlier this month, during Patient Safety Awareness Week, Jim Conway contributed new resources for improving the understanding of and response to serious clinical adverse events. Conway, a well-known champion of patients and families, former senior vice president at the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI), and adjunct faculty at Harvard School of Public Health, appeared as a guest blogger on Health Care for All’s Healthy Blog. In his post, “Serious Clinical Adverse Events: Learning Through the Eyes of Patients and Family Members,” Conway recalls patient stories that have made a difference to him and others and introduces new sources he helped IHI add to its existing list available online at “Leadership Response to a Sentinel Event: Respectful, Effective Crisis Management.”
“What I believe really matters,” my patient said to me, and she was right. It took me a while to get it, but when I did it opened a new frame of reference on quality and safety and achieving desired outcomes. Medicine today can provide more good and yet simultaneously do more harm than ever before. Understanding this modern healthcare conundrum is essential to achieving best outcomes while avoiding harm.
By Daniel L. Cohen, MD, FRCPCH, FAAP
Encouraging patients and their families to take an active role in their health care by becoming involved and informed is critical. In celebration of Patient Safety Awareness Week, March 4-10, a unique patient safety education program will be released to provide patients and their families with instant access to current patient safety videos at their bedside and while receiving care. The 2012 SAFE CARE Patient Safety Education Program, is a free offering developed to assist health care organizations in educating patients to help prevent medical errors.
Houston—The Cautious Patient Foundation announced a new national program designed to help patients remember their doctors’ medical instructions. Known as “Your Doctor’s Advice” (YDA), the program provides an easy-to-use, high-tech solution to a major contributing factor in patient noncompliance and poor medical outcomes.
The Partnership for Patients is an ambitious national initiative launched recently by the Department of Health and Human Services to improve the safety, quality, and affordability of healthcare in the United States. The National Priorities Partnership (convened by the National Quality Forum) is presenting a series of webinars to “discuss strategies for getting started and sustaining meaningful execution of change.” The series features national thought leaders and experts in patient safety.
April 12, 2011—Doctors, nurses and other health care providers in America work incredibly hard every day to deliver the best care possible to their patients. Unfortunately, an alarming number of patients are harmed by medical mistakes in the health care system and far too many die prematurely as a result. The Obama Administration has launched the Partnership for Patients: Better Care, Lower Costs, a new public-private partnership that will help improve the quality, safety and affordability of health care for all Americans.