Today, CFAH launched @PreparedPatient, a new Twitter feed featuring trusted tips, resources, stories, and news to help followers find good health care and make the most of it. Prepared Patient was created by the late Jessie Gruman and continues the themes of @JessieGruman tweets.
As Jessie shared in What Do I Tweet – and Why?: "...I know the size and shape of the challenge we face in getting the most out of our care. We not only need to know about our specific diseases and treatments and what we can do about them, but we also need to know something about how our care is organized and about changes in general health knowledge and medical practice that affect how we make use of the resources and services available to us."
Jessie outlined four reasons why it is important to keep current with advances in medicine and developments in health and health care:
- This is not nice-to-know information; it's need-to-know information. If we aren't somewhat versed in the basics of health and health care or if we are unengaged, "we risk being on the receiving end of medical errors, receiving suboptimal care or simply not knowing how we can best help ourselves."
- What we know about health and care changes. Thus, "evidence has never been more important. Especially considering revelations that much of the care we receive may not be consistent with evidence of what works. Combined with the rapid pace of new findings, understanding the facts relevant to your situation can be intimidating to patients and health professionals alike."
- "Finding high-quality analysis and commentary that is relevant to the decisions we must make about our health and our care every day is a bear." It's unrealistic to expect each member of the public to stay on top of the daily developments in health care. It's also sometimes difficult to separate the most useful information from skewed or biased reporting.
- "Understanding health and health care is not just a matter of digesting new facts. It also includes considering implications of those facts and different perspectives on policies so that the facts have context and meaning." We must understand how new findings, typically drawn from research conducted on hundreds or thousands of people, are relevant to us and our particular circumstances.
@PreparedPatient tweets the latest health news, links to our Be a Prepared Patient resources, the latest research from our Health Behavior News Service, and Prepared Patient blog posts by patients and health care insiders.
Welcome to @PreparedPatient.