After a very full year of writing reports, giving speeches, and number-checking infographics, I’m left wondering: What’s the most effective way to deliver insights? How can I better serve you?
To paraphrase Dr. Seuss: Do you like the data in a table? In a tweet? In a speech? Do you like the numbers in a box? Do you like them with a fox? (Couldn’t resist.) Would you like them here or there? Would you like them anywhere?
How do you hear about new research? Do you tune in right away, when it’s first published, or later? What format do you find useful — tweets, slides, videos, infographics, fact sheets, reports? How about these blog posts I write and the conversations that ensue? What do you find valuable? Continue reading →
Daniel Kahneman’s book, Thinking, Fast and Slow, has been sitting on my shelf for a year. I have started reading it three times and just can’t get into it.
John Lumpkin to the rescue! His engaging 15-minute talk places Kahneman’s essential points in the context of his experience as a clinician and as an observer of our current health care landscape:
Lumpkin’s call for “personalized health” to help people make decisions based on what is important to them, in the current context of their lives, resonates with what E-patient Dave wrote in a comment earlier this year connecting behavioral economics to health care culture change. Essentially: we need to stay based in reality, fight naiveté, and respect different ways of thinking.
This Thanksgiving, I am hosting the guest post below, participating in the annual Engage With Grace blog rally, to encourage those who haven’t considered their end-of-life preferences start thinking about them, and asking those who have done it to consider how their decisions may have changed over time. It’s good food for thought. Wishing you all a happy, healthy holiday season. Continue reading →
Policy makers, patient advocates, entrepreneurs, investors, clinicians — all health care stakeholders — can use the data to map the current landscape. There are still barren patches, where people remain offline and cut off from the resources and tools. But there are lush valleys, too, where engagement and change is happening.
I see e-patients as the guides to those valleys since unless you are living with chronic conditions — or love someone who is — you don’t see that side of the internet. So here’s my request: provide your evidence. Show what you have learned. Continue reading →
I recently received an invitation to speak at a conference and quickly ran it through my standard criteria. It met 4 of the 5 — pretty impressive — so I agreed to a phone call with the organizers. They let me know right away that they are open to collaboration and suggestions, so I brought up the idea of inviting a patient or caregiver to be on the panel with me. This wasn’t a new concept to them, but they wanted more information about what that would entail.
I identified 3 challenges:
convincing the organization that including a consumer is worthwhile
Here are quotes from two excellent essays about being an empowered caregiver.
First, from Muriel Gillick, MD:
In those care planning meetings in the nursing home, if they ask nothing else, family members should ask “what drugs is mom on?” And that should be followed by “why is she on them?” and “are they helping?” And if there is no good reason for giving the medication, ask that it be stopped, especially neuroleptics. It will save mom a lot of misery—and save money for all of us.
Second, from Anna Quindlen, who recently spoke about caring for her father at the end of his life:
When I raised ethical questions about changing the scope of my father’s treatment because of the low likelihood of recovery, they acted as though those questions were appropriate and sensible. They made me feel like a good daughter, not the opposite, for asking them.
Read her full speech at HumanizingMedicine.org(click fast — her essay will disappear on Dec. 3, 2013, at her request):
A clinical trial in Kenya confirmed that human kindness is the secret ingredient to health and mobile phones are an ideal delivery system. Well, that’s my interpretation.
Here’s the gist:
Taking your meds is essential to maintaining your health when you live with a chronic condition. People know this, but they need help doing it. They tend to tune out reminders — constant texts become more of a nag than a boost, studies show. Instead, people respond to empathy — in this study, a single word, texted once a week: “Mambo?” which means “How are you?” People who texted back that they were not feeling well received follow-up phone calls to see if clinicians could help them get back on track. Continue reading →
Jay Parkinson recently wrote a post responding to a question raised by Atul Gawande: Can technology be a change agent for health care? Jay’s answer focused on the generational tech divide in medicine today. One quote:
“Many of the most influential doctors practicing medicine today have an antagonistic relationship with computers. Change will only come in a massive way when the under-40 generation takes control.”
I tweeted his post, followed by a link to an essay I wrote about my grandmother, who grasped the potential of the Web immediately — at age 85 — and was a daily internet user until she died, more than a decade later. She is an example of someone who defied generational generalizations, to say the least. Continue reading →