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

Donna Cryer, JD, is president and chief executive officer of the American Liver Foundation, and CEO of CryerHealth, a health care strategy firm in Washington, DC. A liver transplant recipient, Ms. Cryer has experienced frequent and varied interactions with the health care system, giving her a unique perspective on the patient experience. She blogs about patient advocacy issues on DCPatient – An Impatient Patient's Perspective on Health Care Today.

Why I Fired My Doctor and What You Should Look for in Yours

Donna Cryer | August 25, 2014
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...

Cumulative Burden: The Real Barrier to Adherence for Complex Patients?

Donna Cryer | July 26, 2013
Recently, I participated in an excellent meeting, (Patient Summit USA 2013), whose primary theme was patient adherence. Thankfully the other speakers had all moved beyond the notion that "patients forget to take their medication" and that adherence can be solved by fancy pill caps or bottles; yet I was struck that most did not yet fully appreciate the challenges of a complete adherence picture, particularly for patients on multiple therapies.

Comparative Effectiveness Research: Donna Cryer of the American Liver Foundation

Donna Cryer | November 20, 2012
Patients are not opposed to comparative effectiveness research. I think they understand its value to health care decision-making. But physician-scientists and policymakers rightly perceive the inherent tension between personalized medicine and CER.

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.

Guest Blog: A Patient's Perspective on Improving Care Transitions

Donna Cryer | October 28, 2011
Two recent speaking engagements provided me the opportunity to think deeply about the discharge process, an area of healthcare delivery rampant with errors and missed opportunities to support sustained healing and health for patients.

Defining Patient Engagement

Donna Cryer | February 18, 2011
The mad scramble to figure out how to 'engage' patients in their healthcare has begun! Everyone from PR firms to hospital board members are trying to figure out how to engage patients in their health care. My question to hospitals and others is this: Why would you reject the help of thousands of individuals positioned in various ways to help you be more successful?

Consumers v Patients

Donna Cryer | November 9, 2010
Much is made of what to call those of us actively engaged in pursuing and receiving medical care from health professionals, and this post does not intend to settle that issue. But I've discerned a shift towards using "consumers" as the catch-all term to describe people who actually have different experiences, needs, views, and behaviors within the health care system. Although often used interchangeably, I believe there are distinctive differences between consumers, patients, and patient warriors in the context of health care.