PREPARED PATIENT BLOG

Patients and experts explore what it takes to find good health care and make the most of it.

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Consumer-Directed Health Isn’t Always So Healthy

Jane Sarasohn Kahn | July 1, 2013

Giving health consumers more skin in the game doesn’t always lead to them making sound health decisions.

I Couldn’t Do It. Could You?

Susan Shaw | June 27, 2013

I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t ask the nurses and doctor who looked after my daughter to wash their hands.

Health Is Difficult When Solo: Will More e-Caregivers Help?

Jessie Gruman | June 26, 2013

Last week, both my husband and I came away from a conversation with my doctor positive that we understood my new weight-gain plan. Funny thing: Each of us recalled a different plan.

It’s Medicare Versus Medical Supplier in Controlling Costs

Trudy Lieberman | June 25, 2013

On July 1, Medicare begins a second round of competitive bidding for medical equipment and supplies, such as diabetes testing strips that beneficiaries use to check their blood sugar levels. There’s nothing remarkable about any of this except that the industry is fighting to make sure that competitive bidding does not happen...

Some Caregivers Find Hiring a Professional Advocate Helps

Suzie Mitchell | June 25, 2013

Not long ago, I was chatting with a friend about my mom, whose life had revolved around work since my dad died 17 years ago. I was worried that my mother might be lonely, but worse, I didn't know how I would care for her at such a distance if she got sick.

Looking for Meaning in a Meaningless Diagnosis

Carolyn Thomas | June 24, 2013

It is indeed tempting – and common – to spout trite platitudes designed to somehow make people feel better about those bad things with bumper-sticker pop-psych. But can platitudes really lend meaning to a life-altering health crisis?

Consumer Health Information: Patient Engagement and Dead Cats

Jessie Gruman | June 19, 2013

Have you ever felt that claims about the effects of our access to new and more health information overshoot the mark?...Given the sheer volume of information online, you should be able to find robust information about each of these issues that could transform the way you care for yourself.

Cheap Insurance Premiums Come at a Price

Trudy Lieberman | June 18, 2013

Yesterday the blog of WIFR-TV in Rockford, Illinois, featured a small story about community groups in the state applying for federal grants to help educate customers coming to the new health exchange in October.

I’m Through Feeling Guilty for My Health Problems

Heather Thiessen | June 17, 2013

Have you ever felt like you needed to apologize for a health problem you were facing? I have experienced this often over my many years in the healthcare system.

Father Knows Best

Red Maxwell | June 14, 2013

Unlike network television, life with diabetes can't be solved within reasonable time limits. It takes perseverance, patience and huge helpings of hope.

Traditional Research Leaves Out a Critical Stakeholder: Patients

Leana Wen | June 13, 2013

What’s wrong with the following picture? Two medical researchers at a major academic center collaborate to study disease X. They come up with the research question, design the project, obtain grants, and collect data. Their results are published in a scientific journal and presented at several medical conferences. Based on this first study, the researchers start another cycle of idea generation, data generation, and publication.

Semper Paratus: Our Decisions About Emergency Care

Jessie Gruman | June 12, 2013

Sometimes it is clear that the only response to a health crisis is to call 911 and head for the emergency department. But so many times the course of action is less obvious while the demand for some action is urgent.

Are Health Insurance Rates Going Up or Down — A Cautionary Tale?

Trudy Lieberman | June 12, 2013

Will consumers buying coverage in the new state shopping exchanges find lower or higher rates? On one side are those who say the newly insured will see lower premiums for coverage.

Clinicians are from Mars, e-Patients are from Venus

Danny van Leeuwen | June 10, 2013

My experience is that e-patients and clinicians can agree that they seek "best health". Yet there is such a disconnect, such frustration, so much of the time. A pervasive gap exists between the way clinicians and e-patients approach this goal...

5 Lessons Inspire Learned from Its 5 Million Posts Written by Patients and Caregivers

Brian Loew | June 6, 2013

Recently, Inspire passed a milestone: five million posts written by the patients and caregivers in their online health community. Brian Loew, founder and CEO of Inspire, reflects on what Inspire’s learned from patients and caregivers.

Fire My Doctor? Not So Fast

Jessie Gruman | June 5, 2013

Last week, a friend told me that her mother had been fired as a patient by her primary care physician in a letter she received in the mail. Last week, I fired my oncologist by email. My friend and I both wrestled with accepting that, in fact, this relationship needed to end.

Do Corporate Wellness Programs Work?

Trudy Lieberman | June 5, 2013

On a recent trip to Lincoln, NE, I visited Lincoln Industries, a company that makes chrome trims for Harley-Davidson motorcycles. I was curious about the firm’s award-winning wellness program, especially since more employers are penalizing workers by making them pay more for their health insurance if they fail to meet certain health goals.

‘How’ Trumps ‘What’ in Patient Experience Success

Jason Wolf | June 4, 2013

Since my last blog post where I stressed the need for our continued commitment to push the patient experience movement forward I have had a positive, life-changing experience. Early on Friday, April 19, as we were wrapping up Patient Experience Conference 2013, my wife called to let me know she was having contractions. "Nothing imminent," she calmly told me.

Eye to Eye: The Doctor-Patient Relationship in Stage IV Cancer

Lisa Bonchek Adams | June 3, 2013

Everything changes with a diagnosis of Stage 4 cancer. I don’t really think that’s an overstatement. My relationship with my oncologists has, by nature, changed as well.