One thing is clear in the chorus of words about patient care today, there is no consensus on a definition for patient engagement. I suggest we are missing something very important because we have a historical precedent for patient involvement in their care that led to positive change. In fact it was patients who became a very powerful force for change because they read, they attended classes and they understood they should be partners in the way they received care. They were engaged. In the 1970s, childbirth education surfaced to help women learn about the normal processes of labor and … [Read more...]
Patient Engagement and Patient Safety: Are They Just Words?
The words, “patient engagement” and “patient safety” seem like common sense in healthcare. However, if you are a professional caring for patients today you can certainly identify with Eliza Doolittle’s lament in My Fair Lady. “Words, words, words! I’m so sick of words I get words all day through First from him, now from you Is that all you blighters can do?” Patients and families are equally peppered with these terms on information sheets, brochures, videos and media reports. The latter are often headlines that depict a collapse in patient safety where someone suffers or dies as … [Read more...]
Are we ready for 21st Century Patients?
We talk about “patient engagement” and shared decision-making but patients tell us we are not walking the talk. Their feedback in the HCAHPS survey paints a picture of opportunity to improve. Our culture of hospital care is changing but it is still far from goal of “patient centered”. Take a look at the recent study by James, in the Journal of Patient Safety, our stats for patient harm are not improving. In fact this report shows 2.5 time higher incidents of harm from the IOM report in 2000. Patient centered care is Safe Care. Clinicians go to work with the intent of providing the best … [Read more...]
Is It a Cereal: HCAPS?
Do you remember the “snap, crackle and pop” ads when you were a kid? If you just poured the milk on the cereal and put your ear close to the bowl you could hear the “snap, crackle and pop” described by little jumping elves. So you poured your milk and you LISTENED. HCAPS are intended to be about listening. HCAPS has an impressive full name; Hospital Consumers Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems, it is a survey designed by government agencies to seek feedback from patients about the care they receive in the hospital. The survey is voluntary and asks 27 questions ranging from … [Read more...]
Patients Have a Voice: Did You Notice on October 1st?
If you listened to the Monday morning news with your coffee, the “dry” story about Medicare’s new payment structure to hospitals may have slipped by you, especially if are not “in the industry” or do not have Medicare insurance. But this is a significant story, particularly when we consider the importance of taking an active role in understanding our healthcare. Effective October 1st hospitals will be rewarded in dollars… or NOT… according to the outcome measures for 12 specific patient problems such as heart attacks, pneumonia and the use of antibiotics. The measures are designed to see … [Read more...]