Content tagged with 'Health Care Quality' | back to all topics
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Watchful Waiting: When Treatment Can Wait
PREPARED PATIENT ARTICLE
For some patients, delaying treatment while regularly monitoring the progress of disease may benefit them more than a rush to pharmaceutical or surgical options.
Using Physician Rating Websites
PREPARED PATIENT ARTICLE
New health review sites promise to help you make this important decision for yourself or your loved ones. However, patients and physicians alike are finding that these doctor reviews aren’t as transparent or useful as they might seem.
The Psychology of the Surgical Waiting Room: Personal Observations and Adventures in Waiting
PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | June 21, 2012 | Kevin Campbell
After being on the 'other side' of medicine, Kevin R. Campbell, M.D., experienced the stressors of waiting for someone going through surgery and has learned ways to improve his practices as a clinician to help make the experience less worrisome for loved ones.
My Doctor Gets 3 Stars? 2 Thumbs Up? B+?
PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | July 27, 2012 | Conversation Continues
Hospital and physician ratings and patient satisfaction scores are all inter-related. Do they provide useful, meaningful information-and will we use them?
A Year of Living Sickishly: A Patient Reflects
On Friday afternoon of Labor Day weekend three years ago, my doctor called to tell me that the pathology report from a recent endoscopy showed that I had stomach cancer. Maybe you can imagine what happened next.
Are Patient Ratings a Good Guide to a Good Hospital?
PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | September 11, 2012 | Trudy Lieberman
After writing about trying to choose the best hospital for my upcoming cataract surgery, I wondered if a few quality measures might offer a clue or two about how to better honcho some of my care, like the one that asks hospital patients if a nurse explained medications given to them. Since many ratings schemes rely on patient satisfaction data collected by the government, I decided to explore further.
A Year of Living Sickishly: A Patient Reflects
PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | September 13, 2012 | Jessie Gruman
The essays collected here reflect on what it felt like as a patient with a serious illness, to cobble together a plan with my clinicians that works and to slog through the treatments in the hope that my cancer will be contained or cured and that I will be able to resume the interesting life I love.
Slow Leaks: Missed Opportunities to Encourage Our Engagement in Our Health Care
What does it take for us and our families to find good care and make the most of it? And what can be done to help those who lack the skills, resources or capacities, or who are already ill, compensate for their inability to do so? This collection of essays identifies some of the key challenges posed to most of us by health care as it is currently delivered in many settings.
Reducing Your Risk of Medical Errors
PREPARED PATIENT ARTICLE
Recovering from a knee replacement is difficult under the best of circumstances, but for Herminia Briones, the year following her surgery was filled with unexpected pain, complications and confusion. Her repeated attempts to draw attention to her problems went unheeded, beginning an unfortunate and not uncommon struggle with medical error. Why do medical errors happen and how can you help protect yourself from harm?
Cancer Survivorship: What I Wish I'd Known Earlier
In these essays, I reflect on what I wish I'd known earlier about getting good care following active cancer treatment for five different cancer diagnoses, based on my own experience and what I have learned from others.
Is Health Insurance Sticker Shock for Real?
PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | April 9, 2013 | Trudy Lieberman
Wherever you turn, there are complaints about health insurance rates. A Pennsylvania woman tells me her monthly premium will soon be $100 more than it used to be. A New Yorker finds the premium for retiree coverage rising 24 percent...
The Truth about Those High Patient Satisfaction Scores for Doctor-Patient Communication
PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | April 11, 2013 | Stephen Wilkins
The problem with satisfaction data related to doctor-patient communication is that, at face value, it simply doesn’t correlate with other published data on the subject. There is a disconnect between what patients say in satisfaction surveys and what happens in actual practice. Here’s what I mean…
My Weekend as an Emergency Patient and What I Learned
PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | May 13, 2013 | Anne Polta
If you want to see what health care is really like, there’s no better way than by becoming a patient yourself. To paraphrase the wisdom of Dr. Seuss, “Oh, the things you’ll learn!”
Patient Engagement? How About Doctor Engagement?
PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | May 28, 2013 | Carolyn Thomas
It’s a stressful time to be a patient these days, what with expectations running high that we should be both empowered and engaged while self-tracking every trackable health indicator possible – and of course retaining an all-important positive mental attitude – in order to change health care forever.
‘How’ Trumps ‘What’ in Patient Experience Success
PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | June 4, 2013 | Jason Wolf
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.
I’m Through Feeling Guilty for My Health Problems
PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | June 17, 2013 | Heather Thiessen
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.
Electronic Health Record Adoption Uneven Across U.S.
HBNS STORY | June 27, 2013
A new study in Health Services Research finds wide geographic variation in the adoption of electronic health records (EHRs) by ambulatory health care sites.
Consumer-Directed Health Isn’t Always So Healthy
PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | July 1, 2013 | Jane Sarasohn Kahn
Giving health consumers more skin in the game doesn’t always lead to them making sound health decisions.
The Limits of Consumer Driven Health Care – A Trip to the Car Mechanic
PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | July 8, 2013 | Davis Liu
As health care becomes increasingly unaffordable, many believe quality would improve and costs would decrease if we treated health care like other consumer-driven markets...If only that were true...
Choosing Hospitals Wisely (Is There Such a Thing?)
PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | July 11, 2013 | Leana Wen
Here’s a thought experiment presented a recent conference on healthcare consumer (ah hem, patient) advocacy. Let’s say that you’re told you need surgery of your knee. It’s an elective surgery to repair a torn knee ligament, the ACL. Your insurance covers part, but not all, of the cost. How do you choose which hospital to go to?
Patient-Centeredness Is the Intuitive Grasping of Health Care Quality
PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | July 15, 2013 | Aanand Naik
The key to improving the health outcomes of our older patients (and the overall quality of our healthcare system) is through re-investment in dialogue between patients and clinicians and a strengthening of trust within the patient-clinician relationship.
Why This Family Doctor Blogs and Writes
PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | July 18, 2013 | Davis Liu
As a doctor, I am compelled to write because of what I know is occurring with alarming frequency in our country. Americans are skipping needed and recommended care that could save their lives and allow them to live to their fullest. Patients are more distracted, as life is more complicated and busier than ever. Households have both parents working, sometimes two jobs, just to make ends meet.
Is the Most Important Prescription for Health Care Consumers a Dose of Healthy Skepticism?
PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | August 5, 2013 | Wendy Lynch
Here’s a wonderful idea: patients and providers working together in shared decision-making, accepting and trusting each other’s input. Isn’t that the goal our health care system should strive for? Not so fast.
My Journey as an Undercover Patient
PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | August 26, 2013 | Meryl Bloomrosen
Not too long ago, I had the misfortune to fall from my bicycle, and within minutes my bicycle and I were on our way to the local hospital via ambulance with serious but non-life threatening injuries. As a result of this incident, I got to experience the health care system first hand, up close and personal. Thus began my unexpected journey as an undercover patient...
Privacy? Not in My Doctor's Office
PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | September 5, 2013 | John Grohol
I’m not concerned about HIPAA. I’m concerned about how little my doctor cares for my privacy in his own office...I say my name, realizing that if someone is interested in identity theft, the check in process with the doctor’s front desk makes me a pretty easy target...
Patients Appreciate Good Front Office Staff
PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | September 9, 2013 | Conversation Continues
Health centers' front office staff are important members of the care team. They greet us when we arrive, make extra efforts to schedule appointments that fit our schedule, direct us to the right person when we call, and work to squeeze us in for those same day appointments. At least we hope they do...
Rethinking Survivorship in the Context of Illness
PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | September 19, 2013 | Elaine Schattner
When I was practicing oncology, I never thought much about the concept of survivorship. I was busy running a research lab and rounding on my hospital's inpatient oncology unit. Until I was diagnosed with cancer myself, I didn't really appreciate how blurry the line is between being a survivor and having the disease...
What Would the Car Mechanic Say If You Didn't Look Sick?
PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | September 30, 2013 | Kelly Young
Imagine you take your car to a mechanic and he says, "Your car looks fine to me. The paint is still shiny. It's not very old." It just wouldn't happen. So why would a doctor say to someone with rheumatoid arthritis, "Your hands don't look too bad"...
I Want My Doctor to Care About Costs
PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | October 1, 2013 | Sarah Jorgenson
In a lecture hall of fellow clinicians-to-be, I was told that my job as a physician is not to be concerned with costs but rather to treat patients. What an odd message. Does medicine's unique role of saving lives exempt it from keeping an eye on the register?
The Anatomy of a Hospital Admission
PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | October 3, 2013 | Jordan Grumet
If Hattie had but one flaw, it was that she held her doctors in too high esteem. So when her blood pressure came up a little high, she was too embarrassed to admit that she hadn't taken her prescription in over a week. Two days later, Hattie showed up to the emergency room...
Still Demanding Medical Excellence
PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | October 15, 2013 | Michael Millenson
Digging through hundreds of studies, articles and other firsthand sources stretching back for decades, I was stunned to discover that repeated evidence of unsafe, ineffective, wasteful and downright random care had had no effect whatsoever on how doctors treated patients.
Adding Empathy to Medical School Requirements
PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | October 18, 2013 | Inside Health Care
How can doctors understand what it's like to be ill? These stories illustrate the power of walking a mile in a patient's shoes.
The Latest on the Usefulness of Hospital Ratings
PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | October 30, 2013 | Trudy Lieberman
On Monday, Charlie Ornstein of Pro Publica provided the latest word on the usefulness of hospital ratings, an issue that seems never to disappear despite the growing body of work that raises questions about the methodology used to create them, their conflicts of interest with sponsors, and most importantly, their usefulness to the public.
My BlogTalkRadio Interview: Patient Engagement
PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | October 30, 2013 | Jessie Gruman
Last week, I was interviewed by Dr. Pat Salber and Gregg Mastors on their BlogTalkRadio show, This Week in Health Innovation, about patient-centered care, patient engagement, shared decision making and the cost/quality trade-offs involved, and what all of this means for health care delivery.
Patient Engagement: On Meaning and Metrics
PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | November 7, 2013 | Leslie Kernisan
What is patient engagement? Everyone agrees it's a good thing and that health care providers should be fostering it. How to do so, however, depends on what you believe the term means. I offer a new definition...
Evidence Is Only One Data Point in Our Treatment Decisions
PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | November 13, 2013 | Jessie Gruman
I'm concerned that the frantic drive toward evidence-based medicine as a strategy for quality improvement and cost reduction sets clinicians and patients up for a conflict about our shared picture of health care.
Cuts to Local Health Departments Hurt Communities
HBNS STORY | November 14, 2013
A new study in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine finds that many local health departments aren’t able to meet goals to increase health care access.
Medical Jargon: Do You Need a Translator?
PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | November 14, 2013 | Carolyn Thomas
A distressingly large number of people who have the letters M.D. after their names answer our health questions in such jargon-heavy ways that it makes our situation even more confusing. Time for a SMOG check – aka the "Simple Measure of Gobbledygook."
Should Patients Be Responsible for Physician Hand-Washing?
PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | November 26, 2013 | David Williams
For the past few years I’ve heard suggestions that patients should take a more active role in their health care by asking doctors to wash their hands. I strongly disagree...
Patient as 'Captain of the Team'? Block That Metaphor
PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | December 11, 2013 | Jessie Gruman
You may have noticed an uptick in messages from your health plan or clinician notifying you that "You are the captain of your health care team." My response to this message? Bad metaphor.
A Report on Doctor Report Cards
PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | December 17, 2013 | Carol Cronin
You've recently moved and need to find a new doctor. What's available online to help you learn about the quality of the doctors in your area?...
The N=1 Problem of the Patient Representative
PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | December 18, 2013 | Jessie Gruman
What can we learn from an experiment conducted on a single person? How relevant are results to other patients or populations or diseases? While most of us encounter a cascade of events throughout each of our illnesses, in the end, what we bring to the table is our experience through the lens of our own unique attitudes, beliefs and histories...
"We Are All Patients." No, You're Not.
PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | December 19, 2013 | Carolyn Thomas
I read recently about a medical conference on breast reconstructive surgery following mastectomy, to which not one single Real Live Patient who had actually undergone breast reconstructive surgery following mastectomy was invited to participate...
Who Can Represent Patients?
PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | January 2, 2014 | Kate Lorig
Many years ago, Alfred Korzybski wrote that "the map is not the territory". This distinction has implications for the role of patients' voices in health care planning and policy...
Hospitals Serving Elderly Poor More Likely to Be Penalized for Readmissions
HBNS STORY | January 7, 2014
Hospitals that treat more poor seniors who are on both Medicaid and Medicare tend to have higher rates of readmissions, triggering costly penalties, finds a new study in Health Services Research.
Lack of Access Still to Blame
PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | January 7, 2014 | CFAH Staff
What's the key to reducing costly emergency room visits and readmissions? People who lack convenient access to a health care provider, with or without insurance, return to the emergency department or hospital out of need and desperation...
What Does Team-Based Care Mean for Patients?
PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | January 8, 2014 | Jessie Gruman
Team-based care has been endorsed by the professional organizations of our primary care clinicians, and there is a lot of activity directed toward making this the way most people receive their regular health care. What does this mean for us? It's not clear...
It's Time to Stop Blaming the Patient and Fix the Real Problem: Poor Physician-Patient Communication
PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | January 14, 2014 | Stephen Wilkins
If hospitals, health plans and physicians expect patients to change their behavior, they themselves have to change the way they think about, communicate and relate to patients. As a first step, I suggest that they stop blaming patients for everything that's wrong with health care...
Welcome Shifts in Primary Care
PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | January 23, 2014 | CFAH Staff
What exactly is primary care? There have been a number of news stories lately that point to shifts in its traditional definitions and in what patients can (or should) expect to receive from primary care providers...
Do Patients Care How Much Money Their Doctors Make?
PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | January 28, 2014 | Trudy Lieberman
I am all for transparency when it comes to health care. So when Medicare announced a few weeks ago that it would begin to tell the public how much doctors are paid to treat Medicare patients, my first thought was "hooray." Still, I keep returning to the question: What will the data do for the average person?...
The Limits of Physician Referral in Finding a New Doctor
PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | January 29, 2014 | Jessie Gruman
I've always assumed that the best way to find a new doctor or specialist – preferably within my health plan – was to rely on the advice of a doctor whom I know and trust, who knows my health history and understands what kind of expertise my condition requires. Recently, I have come to question that assumption...
Is Your Doctor Paying Attention?
PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | February 13, 2014 | Carolyn Thomas
The $800 bottle of meds in my bathroom cabinet is a powerfully expensive reminder of my (former) family physician's lapse in attention – and my own lapse in catching her error. She'd somehow accidentally doubled both the dosage and the number of times per day to take these meds. How is this even possible? Somebody is not paying attention...
Patients Unlikely to Deliver on the Promise of Price Transparency
PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | February 19, 2014 | Jessie Gruman
The idea that knowing the price of our care will encourage us to act like wise consumers is a hugely popular topic on blogs, in editorials and in the news. But relying on access to price information to drive changes in our health care choices is full of false promises to both us and to those who think that by merely knowing the price, we will choose cheaper, better care...
Medication Adherence: Shift Focus From Patients to System
PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | March 5, 2014 | Jessie Gruman
National conferences aimed at solving the problem of our wide-scale non-adherence to prescription medications feature expert reports about our misbehavior and bewail the huge number of us who fail to adhere to the ideal schedule. Then each conference gives plenty of airtime to more experts describing smart pill bottles, apps that nag at us, and how patient communities can provide important information about our drugs since our clinicians rarely do. Enough with blaming patients for our approach to taking our (many) medications...
Patients Are Loyal to Their Doctors, Despite Performance Scores
HBNS STORY | March 11, 2014
Patients with an existing relationship with a doctor ranked as lower performing were no more likely to switch doctors than patients with higher performing doctors, finds a new study in Health Services Research.
Common Bias Ignored: Patients and Families Lose
PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | March 12, 2014 | Jessie Gruman
There's a pesky cognitive bias that creates a honking big barrier to patients and families making the most of the health advice and services available to us. It's the tendency of experts to overestimate the knowledge of others. Given my current, frequent brushes with health care, I experience this all the time: "Just go to the lab and ask them," I'm told by my chemo nurse. I think: Huh? What lab? Where? Ask who? The effects of health stakeholders' overestimation of our knowledge are profound...
Online Ratings Don't Help Patients Compare Hospitals
HBNS STORY | March 18, 2014
Despite having access to online ratings, patients can’t distinguish the quality or performance of one hospital from another, finds a new study in Health Services Research.
Community Demographics Linked to Hospital Readmissions
HBNS STORY | April 10, 2014
Nearly 60 percent of the variation in hospital readmission rates appears to be associated with a hospital’s geographic location, finds a new study in Health Services Research.
On Each Other's Team: What We Can Learn by Listening to Older Adults
PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | April 10, 2014 | Chris Langston
If there is a population in which we have the biggest opportunity to see improvements in both cost and quality of care outcomes, it is older Americans. The debate on how best to deliver effective primary care has gone on a long time, sometimes frustratingly so, but it has almost never included a crucial constituency: older adults. The John A. Hartford Foundation is pleased to help change that...
Are We Cowboys or Managers of Our Chronic Conditions?
PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | April 23, 2014 | Jessie Gruman
The word "management" raises images of organizational charts and neat project timelines. This bears no relationship to my experience of trying to live a full, rich life with serious chronic disease. My image of having a serious chronic disease is of a cowboy riding a rodeo bull. You call that management? No. But it gives you a pretty good idea of what it feels like to have a serious chronic disease. This is our experience...
Public Health Centers Deliver Equal or Better Quality of Care
HBNS STORY | April 28, 2014
A new study in Health Services Research reports that patients who get care at federally funded health centers have fewer office visits and hospitalizations, and receive similar or a better quality of preventive care when compared to similar patients of non-health center primary care providers.
When an Advocate Becomes a Patient
PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | April 28, 2014 | Bonnie Friedman
A recent clumsy mishap at the gym landed me in the emergency department. Lying in the hall, feeling hapless and helpless, I was in no position to make any important health decisions, had they been needed, or to remember anything important that might have been said. Later, I understood on a deeply personal level the need for a patient advocate...
Pendulum Swings Between Personalized Care and Fixes That Benefit All
PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | May 14, 2014 | Jessie Gruman
"All patients are alike. This one complains about the same things that the last one did." "Every patient is unique. We can never find a way to make each one of them happy." This public health paradox is alive and well today, particularly when trying to improve outcomes attributable to patient engagement. The question is, what aspects of care need to be customized to individual needs and what can be delivered in a standardized fashion to all of us?
Preventing Medical Harm: Alyssa's Story
PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | May 29, 2014 | David Mayer
Carole Hemmelgarn is a hero. In the video that follows, Carole poignantly shares her daughter Alyssa's story, and why their family's loss has been the driving force behind the change Carole is fighting for: the delivery of safer care for all patients and families...
Entitlement: The Overlooked Dimension of Patient Engagement
PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | June 4, 2014 | Jessie Gruman
What does it means to be an "engaged" patient in the VA system today? It seems you have to know a senator who will intervene on your behalf, to give your health care a priority higher than his other constituents. This is deeply discomforting, and I hate that I am treated in a health care system where even those who are most accountable for the quality of the care it provides (the institutional leaders) can't trust the institution or the professionals who work there to routinely and uniformly deliver excellent care...
Ask Questions Before Surgery. You May Save Your Own Life.
PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | June 9, 2014 | Heather Thiessen
I am wheeled into the operating room and walked to the bed. As I get to the table I am so cold and nervous, I begin to shake. I lay down on the operating table, thinking it seems very narrow and hoping I don't fall off. I hear one of the nurses say, "We have the Heparin ready for the new port." I freeze. I lift my head and say, "I'm allergic to Heparin." The anesthesia I've been given kicks in at that point and I drift off to sleep, hoping things go all right...
Shared Decision Making Missing in Cancer Screening Discussions
HBNS STORY | June 12, 2014
A national survey of patients reveals that physicians don’t always fully discuss the risks and benefits of cancer screening, reports a new study in American Journal of Preventive Medicine.
Not So Easy to Stop Care When the Patient Is a Loved One
PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | June 16, 2014 | Margaret Polaneczky
To those of us who have had a loved one succumb to cancer, who had to negotiate the frightening choice between the rock and the hard place, always holding out hope for another round of chemo...we know that reining in health care costs will mean more than just raising co-pays and lowering drug costs and funding more effective interventions. It will also mean quashing hope. And learning to tell ourselves the truth...
Class and Insurance Stigma Are Barriers to Good Health Care
HBNS STORY | June 19, 2014
Some low-income, uninsured and Medicaid patients report feeling stigma when interacting with health care providers, finds a new report in The Milbank Quarterly.
What Would Mom Want?
PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | June 23, 2014 | Michael Wasserman
We've watched it many times on television or in a movie: The patient lies in the intensive care unit, gravely ill, with the family at the bedside. The doctor walks into the room and asks, "What do you want us to do?" and opens up a huge can of worms that is, in fact, ethically incorrect. The first priority that a physician has is to their patient...
All You Do Is Complain About Health Care
PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | June 25, 2014 | Jessie Gruman
"All your Prepared Patient essays do is complain about your health care and your doctors. That's why I don't read them." Yowzah! Do I really complain? Not to be defensive, but I don't think so. Every week I work to vividly describe insights that might shine a little light on this project that patients, caregivers, clinicians and policymakers – well, the list goes on – share of trying to make health care more effective and fair...
Patient Engagement: Here to Stay
PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | July 1, 2014 | Jessie Gruman
What is patient engagement and what does it take to accomplish? With the support of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, CFAH set out to explore this concept as it was viewed by various diverse stakeholders. Our interviews with 35 key health care stakeholders lead to an impressive unity of opinion...
How to Pick a Primary Care Physician
PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | July 7, 2014 | Reed Tuckson
As the former chief of medical affairs of UnitedHealth Group, I'm privileged to listen to the good people of this country talk about their health care. When it comes to choosing a doctor, do you know what I've learned? Most of us spend more time researching our next electronic gadget than researching our doctor. Except choosing the right doctor has significantly more impact on your life than any gadget...
Stop the War on the Emergency Room (Fix the System Failure)
PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | July 8, 2014 | Nick Dawson
The ED is convenient, it's open 24 hours, it does not require an appointment. So when the stomach bug or kitchen accident gets the best of you at 9:00 pm, and your doctor's office is closed, where are you going to go? And, yet, we still chide people – via reporting, casual comments and the communication of health systems – for using the ED for "non-emergent" needs. What I'd like to see is more hospitals flinging open the doors of their EDs and saying, "We'll take you, any time, for any reason, and you won't wait long or pay an arm and a leg"...
What Physicians Told Us About Patient Engagement
PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | July 9, 2014 | CFAH Staff
"Being engaged in our health and health care makes the most difference to us as individuals. Our actions need to reflect our own goals, our values and preferences, and what we are willing and able to do to achieve them," says Rushika Fernandopulle, MD, Co-Founder and CEO of Iora Health.
How to Prevent Hospital-Acquired Infections
PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | July 21, 2014 | Bonnie Friedman
We go to the hospital to get better, right? But it doesn't always work that way. Sometimes patients become sicker, not because their illnesses are untreatable, but because deadly bugs can overtake a hospital's ecosystem and wreak havoc, especially among the most ill. Not long ago, this happened to my husband...
Has Patient-Centered Health Care Run Amok?
PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | July 22, 2014 | Trudy Lieberman
In the late 1990s, when the Institute of Medicine released their landmark Quality Chasm report saying that patients "should be given the necessary information and the opportunity to exercise the degree of control they choose over health care decisions that affect them," I don't think this is what they had in mind...
What Community Health Leaders Told CFAH About Patient Engagement
PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | July 23, 2014 | CFAH Staff
"When I think of patient engagement, I think of a partnership where people work together to figure out what the patient wants and how to support the process. Engagement is the knowledge base, working through the decisions and helping people to become full partners in their health outcomes." – June Simmons, MSW — Founding President and CEO, Partners in Care Foundation, San Fernando, CA
Ingenious Hospitals Find a New Way to Snag Patients
PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | July 29, 2014 | Trudy Lieberman
A mother takes her teenage son to an urgent care center that is part of her insurance plan's network. A clerk quickly refers him to the emergency room, across the street, which just happens to be part of the same hospital system as the urgent care center. Is this UCC sending some patients to its related hospital ER, clearly a place of high-priced care, to gin up revenue for the system's bottom line?...
Seven Things You Can Do to Help Reduce Prescription Errors
PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | August 4, 2014 | Margaret Polaneczky
I just got off the phone with a very upset patient who discovered that her pharmacy has been giving her the wrong medication for the past five months. Despite all our fancy technology and advances in health care, medication errors can and will occur. So what can you do, as a patient, to be sure that your prescriptions are correct?...
The Most Important Quality in a Physician
PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | August 11, 2014 | Val Jones
When you ask patients what quality is most important in a physician, they often answer "empathy." I think that's close, but not quite right. I know many "nice" and "supportive" doctors who have poor clinical judgment. When it comes to excellent care quality, one personality trait stands out to me – something that we don't spend much time thinking about...
Why I Fired My Doctor and What You Should Look for in Yours
PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | August 25, 2014 | Donna Cryer
My new doctor and I clashed in every way. The short story is that I found another doctor who was a better fit for my "patient style." So what can you learn from my experience? First off, here are two questions you should ask yourself...
Getting Bumped to First Class Health Care
PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | September 4, 2014 | Lawrence LeMoal
I am writing this post while seated comfortably in a motorized leather recliner with a window view and lots of other perks. What a legacy we would leave Saskatchewan citizens if we could figure out how to extend this first-class patient care to all patients and their families wrestling with chronic disease...
Seeing the Government's Star Ratings Is One Thing, Believing Them Is Another
PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | September 9, 2014 | Trudy Lieberman
Just a few years ago it seemed that advocates for health care transparency had scored a big victory. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced that they would rate nursing homes by awarding five stars to the best and fewer stars to lower-quality facilities. It turns out, though, that five-star nursing homes may not be delivering five-star quality...
Are Medical Checklists Bad for Your Health?
PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | September 15, 2014 | Leana Wen
Checklists are routine in other professions to standardize management, and we know they can prevent hospital infections and surgical error. But can there be a downside to checklist medical care? Consider these two examples...
Another Strategy in the Health Care Reimbursement Game
PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | September 17, 2014 | Trudy Lieberman
American health care has become a gigantic game board with players of all sorts strategizing to win. Winning, of course, means getting more money from payers...
Medical Errors: Will We Act Up, Fight Back?
PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | October 22, 2014 | Center for Advancing Health
A new report, "The Politics of Patient Harm: Medical Error and the Safest Congressional Districts," is an alarming reminder that the 200,000 or more preventable medical errors in U.S. hospitals remain stubbornly high and dangerously under-addressed. In early 2013, CFAH's founder and president, the late Jessie Gruman, challenged readers about the crisis: "It is needlessly killing a lot of people and those who have the responsibility to stop it have not made meaningful progress... Are you outraged? If not, why?"...
What to Do If the Doctor Just Shrugs
PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | October 27, 2014 | Bonnie Friedman
As patients we want an answer and a treatment – if not a cure – for what ails us. But sometimes the doctor doesn't know what's wrong, which isn't as rare as we might think. All too often, patients or their families must take charge of their own medical management. Doctors, after all, are human, and some are better diagnosticians than others. Here are some things to do if you or a loved one is struggling with an undiagnosed condition...
Is Your Doctor Talking to Your Other Doctors?
PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | October 28, 2014 | Carolyn Thomas
We'd all like to believe that the average physician would have some clue about a medical crisis happening within a family she's been caring for during the past three decades. But it ain't necessarily so. If you've ever been discharged from a hospital by one doctor only to later be readmitted to the hospital under a different doctor's care, you may be surprised to learn that those doctors are not likely talking to each other...
Is Having the Latest Technology the Sign of a Top Hospital?
PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | November 12, 2014 | Trudy Lieberman
When choosing a hospital, pay little attention to advertisements, testimonials from sick patients, boosterish stories based on press releases, or wisdom-of-the-crowd comments you find on consumer rating websites. Look for reports that measure a hospital's quality – only these can offer clues to the kind of care you might get...
The Canadian Doctor Who Prescribes Income to Treat Poverty
PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | November 19, 2014 | Trudy Lieberman
The first blog post I wrote about a Canadian doctor who was "diagnosing poverty" received more than 3,000 hits. I wanted to circle back to see whether or not the program had taken root. Indeed it has. "It's been a wildfire effect," Dr. Gary Bloch told me. Why can't the U.S. follow suit?...
Asking Patients to Advocate for Their Own Safety Is Not Very Patient-Centered
PREPARED PATIENT BLOG | November 24, 2014 | Marc-David Munk
Imagine, for a moment, if we expected passengers to "have a dialogue" with airline pilots prior to a flight. Is this something we'd consider admirably "passenger-centered?" What about "patient empowerment" materials which ask patients to confront caregivers who don't wash their hands? It's a bad turn of events when we ask patients to ask providers to avoid dirty hands and unnecessary care...