Stars & Stripes (!): Patients urged to take charge of their care

We’ve been known to have our minds blown, but this one started as an eye-popper and got better.

A friend writes: “Even the DoD is getting in the act: Patients urged to take charge of their care.”

But holy cow, there was a LOT more behind that headline. Get this.

It started simply enough: “We want patients to ask questions,” said Lauren Nobriga, a nurse and the patient safety officer at U.S Naval Hospital Okinawa. “What are these medications for? What are these tests for? What does my follow-up treatment entail?” The goal is to prevent errors from occurring during medical care, she said.

Well hallelujah!

But then it turns out this is part of national patient safety week – why hadn’t we heard about this?? It gets better:

  • Ask about any concerns.
  • Bring a list to appointments of all current medications, including over-the-counter drugs, herbal remedies and vitamin supplements.
  • Keep copies of all test results and medical treatments.
  • Discuss with medical staff all options involved with hospital care.
  • Understand every aspect of prospective surgeries.

Good heavens, it’s e-patients on the hoof! In the newspaper!

Even more, check out this one page document: The Universal Patient Compact Principles for Partnership. Darn good framework for a participatory attitude!

Hey, here’s a radical proposal: instead of doctors asking patients to sign a gag order, how about a patient and his/her doctor together(!) agreeing to these principles? Wouldn’t that be participatory – even collaborative?

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Comments

3 Responses to “Stars & Stripes (!): Patients urged to take charge of their care”

  1. I wonder if this will encourage more people to get involved in the quantified self-tracking movement. The Quantified Self is a group getting this going – it’s not strictly about health but much of it ends up being health-related. I wrote up my story as a self-tracking patient here: http://www.kk.org/quantifiedself/2008/12/quantifying-myself.php

    Maybe we should team up with e-patients! :)

  2. Would love to get connected with you. I wrote The Savvy Patient’s Toolkit and started The Savvy Patient School to give people the tools & processes needed to take control of their health care, prevent medical errors and help cut health care costs.

  3. Excellent and welcome, Margo! You are hereby connected. :–)

    Seriously, though: the newly formed Society for Participatory Medicine is just gathering members and assessing our first steps. We are very, very happy to welcome everyone. Best thing to do right now is go to the Society’s Facebook page and click “Become a Fan.”

    We plan to have something more of a coming-out next month, but there’s nothing wrong with spreading the word now.

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