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Home Alone? Discharge Planning Starts at Hospital Admission

Jessie Gruman | August 1, 2012

“...If you need a wheel chair to take you to the door, I’ll call for one. If not, you can go home. Take care of yourself. You are going to do great!” Now I am a sucker for encouraging words, but right then, I panicked...It was 8:45 in the morning. My husband hadn’t yet arrived. I was free to walk out the [hospital] door.

Getting Over My Fear of Doctors

Heather Thiessen | July 31, 2012

Growing up, I was always in awe of my doctors. It was almost as if they lived on a cloud. You never ever questioned their expertise, and very rarely would you ask for a second opinion. Going to the doctor was a nerve-wracking experience, where you spoke only when they asked questions. I always wondered what would happen if I did question them. But I never did. I was too afraid.

In the Medical Market Place—Another Way to Pay for Dental Care

Trudy Lieberman | July 30, 2012

Across the country some 200 dentists have begun selling a package of basic dental services with a membership plan similar to those offered by big retailers like Costco and Sam's Club.

My Doctor Gets 3 Stars? 2 Thumbs Up? B+?

Conversation Continues | July 27, 2012

Hospital and physician ratings and patient satisfaction scores are all inter-related. Do they provide useful, meaningful information-and will we use them?

Guest Blog: We Are All Doctors

Donna Cryer | July 26, 2012

Well of course we are not all doctors. What a ludicrous statement. Just because I have changed a band-aid, taken a temperature, 'diagnosed' a headache and appropriately treated with an acetaminophen, and even clipped an in-grown toe-nail does not make me a healthcare professional.

Right-Sizing Health IT: Where’s My App?

Jessie Gruman | July 25, 2012

The online migration of health information services and technologies (IT) has been a popular focus for IT investors and developers recently. But we have not been as captivated by their efforts as we have been by those of, oh, Facebook, say. Or Lady Gaga's fan site. Or eBay. In fact, most of us are reluctant to make use of the thousands of helpful health IT tools launched to help us get healthier, take care of ourselves and make good use of our health care.

Using Press Releases for Preliminary Pilot Data

Conversation Continues | July 24, 2012

Steven Novella of the Science Based Medicine blog asks, 'If this is a pilot study only and we should not base any firm conclusions on the results, then why the press release?

Why I Write: A Doctor's Tribute to Her Mother

Leana Wen | July 23, 2012

My mother, Sandy Ying Zhang, is my role model and my inspiration for what I do every day. She was diagnosed with breast cancer when she was in her forties, and fought it courageously for seven years until she passed away in 2010.

What Does It Matter to You: Patient Activation and Good Health Outcomes

Janice Lynch Schuster | July 20, 2012

In our current health care environment, in which patients are sometimes discharged quicker and sicker, they are expected to be more in charge activated than ever. They need to make and keep follow-up doctor appointments, manage complex medication regimens, organize home health care and visiting nurse appointments, store powerful medications, and track, monitor, and report changes in their health status. It's a tough order, especially for people like my father, who do not know or understand the health care system, and find its workings difficult to navigate.

Guest Blog: Will Information Technology Squeeze Physicians Out Of Their Central Role In Health Care?

Stephen Wilkins | July 19, 2012

Turns out that while most of us (90%) would like be able to make a doctor's appointment and check lab results online'.85% of us also still want the option to talk to our physician face-to-face. These are the findings from a recent 2012 study conducted by Accenture.

Consumer Ambivalence About Health Engagement ' Will OOP Costs Nudge Us to Engage?

Jane Sarasohn Kahn | July 19, 2012

In some surveys, U.S. consumers seem primed for health engagement, liking the ability to schedule appointments with doctors online, emailing providers, and having technology at home that monitors their health status.

The Art of the Fail, Open Table Surveys, and Increasing Our Engagement in Health Care

Jessie Gruman | July 18, 2012

In the past two days I have filled out two post-dining surveys from Open Table, and it occurred to me that it would be great if there were something similar that could provide the immediate guidance we need to participate in our care.

Research that Incorporates the Patient's Perspective

Conversation Continues | July 17, 2012

Josh Freeman, M.D., argues for research that looks at the patient as a whole. CFAH President Jessie Gruman cautions that if researchers are not advised, supported, and required to include the patient's perspective, it will not occur.

Guest Blog: Is Genomic Medicine Clinically Useful Yet?

Brian Klepper | July 17, 2012

The news of my wife Elaine's primary peritoneal cancer 27 months ago began a fevered effort to learn all we could about her disease and our options. 'Gold standard' treatments notwithstanding, the prognosis isn't good. So with molecular profiling, we stand at the leading edge of a hugely promising, alternative paradigm.

After the ACA Ruling---What's next for Employer-Based Health Plans?

Trudy Lieberman | July 16, 2012

Buzz about the recent Supreme Court's health reform decision has hovered mostly over the individual mandate---the requirement that everyone carry health insurance---and over push back on Medicaid expansion....But what about the 160 million Americans who have coverage from their employers?

Fast Food Medicine: A Missed Opportunity for Shared Decision Making

Sarah Jorgenson | July 13, 2012

Though I may want fast food health care when I'm healthy, I don't want it if I'm sick or have the potential to be sick. People want to have the opportunity for a dining-in experience, not just fast food.

Slow Leaks: Missed Opportunities to Encourage Our Engagement in Our Health Care

Jessie Gruman | July 12, 2012

The gap between the demands placed on us by U.S. health care delivery and the ability of individuals even the most informed and engaged among us to meet those demands undermines the quality of our care, escalates its cost and diminishes its positive impact on our health.

The Hard Truth: There's No Such Thing as Truly Preventive Services

Barbara Bronson Gray | July 10, 2012

If only there really was such a thing as a "preventive service." With all this talk about the Affordable Care Act these last few weeks, the inclusion in the law of "free preventive services" has been billed as a big plus.

The Valuable Knowledge of Patients with Diseases Like RA

Kelly Young | July 9, 2012

A few weeks ago, in front of a few friends and lots of total strangers, I shared experiences about RA and explained specific ways that direct patient input could improve every aspect of health care, from research to diagnosis to treatment delivery.

Still the Best Policy: Being Honest With Your Children About Cancer

Lisa Bonchek Adams | July 3, 2012

While there may be exceptions, in general I firmly believe it's important to be open and honest with children about serious illness (in my case it was cancer). Not only is it important to explain it to them to de-mystify illness, it can also be crucial that children be aware of the condition in case of emergency.

In the Dark on Costs of Care

Conversation Continues | July 2, 2012

'If gas stations worked like health care, you wouldn't find out until the pump switched off whether you paid $3 or $30 a gallon." ' Consumer Reports