“Listening to the Patient Voice” – a Planetree story

I’ve long been surprised that Planetree.org is not better known by everyone who talks about patient-centered care, patient engagement, etc. I attended one of their webcasts in April and wrote about a great booklet they discussed.

I’m taking the liberty of pasting in here an item from their latest e-newsletter, because it illustrates how they think and how things unfold as a result. __________

Listening to the Patient Voice How It’s Done at Platte Valley Medical Center

Including patients and families in the development of a truly patient-centered care experience formally took shape at Platte Valley Medical Center in 2008 with the formation of the hospital’s community focus group. Staff from clinical and non-clinical departments volunteer and are trained to participate in an interactive process to listen and respond to patients’ feedback through quarterly care-centered interviews. To date, we have completed eight sessions. Testimonies are then used to assist with critical problem solving, program development, and measure successes. Concrete action steps, developed with the patient and family, are used for house-wide staff training. Through a video presentation and newsletter, entitled The Patients’ Voice, hospital staff is invited to “Munch and Learn” sessions to hear patients’ stories and apply what they learn to their daily work.

Lessons Learned from our [...] continue the story

Kathy Kastner: Thinking, Talking, Asking

Our good friend Kathy Kastner over at Ability4life.com has been trying to make sense out of doctor/patient communication for a long time. How often do people not take medication properly because they don’t understand the instructions? How often do patients simply forget what a doctor has said because they can’t listen as fast as a doctor can talk? Imagine how important sensitivity to communications needs to be when a highly educated doctor speaks to adults with 8th grade literacy, or immigrants with limited English, or seniors with failing memories, or teenagers with bursting libidos. Kathy’s been busy producing a series of videos and she describes the objectives in her own words: In between doctor’s appointments, we patients live our lives, and a ‘one size fits all’ rarely applies to daily health regimes. It’s in our own best interest to ensure we’ve negotiated a schedule we can follow. With my ‘think about it, talk about it, ask about it’ campaign I use real life examples to help kick start that process.

View Kathy’s Youtube Channel here http://www.youtube.com/user/kathykastner

Patient Commando responds to Dr. Zeichner’s post on KevinMD.com

Earlier this month KevinMD.com posted the following article by Dr. Joshua Zeichner, a dermatologist at the Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York City.

The best defense against skin cancer is prevention. Skin cancer is the most common kind of cancer in the United States, affecting more than 2 million Americans every year.  It is estimated that one in five Americans will develop a skin cancer in their lifetime.

There are three main types of skin cancer.  Melanoma is the most serious form of skin cancer, which can be fatal if not treated early.   While melanoma accounts for a very small percentage of skin cancers, it is responsible for the majority of skin cancer related deaths.  Survival of patients with melanoma is directly correlated to the size of the cancer.  If the spot is detected early, before it has spread from the skin, more than 90% of patients will be cured.  This drops to approximately 15% once the cancer has spread.  The number of new cases of melanoma is rising faster than most of the other internal types of cancer, so public education is of the utmost importance.

The other two common skin cancers are collectively known a non-melanoma skin cancer.  The most common skin cancer in [...] continue the story

I don’t trust my GP to manage my cancer follow-up | Globe and Mail Q&A

The question: I’m in treatment for early-stage breast cancer. When it’s done, I’ll be sent to my general practitioner, whom I have little faith in. I’ve had excellent, patient-focused care from medical staff treating my cancer. Should I find a new doctor or stick with this one who, for better or worse, at least knows my history?

The answer: Given the background information you gave me on your GP – reluctant to order tests, not a good listener, dismissive – you are right to be concerned. I’ve seen how well oncologists advocate for their patients; your fondness for them is well placed.

A study published this year in the journal Current Oncology found that 87 per cent of early stage breast cancer patients surveyed in Ontario preferred to visit their cancer specialist for routine follow-up.

Like you, most cancer patients in Canada are sent back to their GPs. So long as a follow-up plan is in place, it’s the best way to provide good quality, cost-effective care.

Sandy Sehdev, a medical oncologist at William Osler Health System in Brampton, Ont., said cases such as yours can result from a patient feeling that the GP did not act rapidly on a lump. Other patients don’t [...] continue the story

Humorous Healing | The Annex Gleaner

When you’re 29 years old, newly married, and suddenly diagnosed with an incurable disease, it’s hard to find things to laugh about.

That’s what happened to Zal Press more than 30 years ago. After he was diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease, friends and family started treating him differently. When they were around him, they were around him, they were all deeply concerned and they could never act casually. He was no longer a ‘person’; he became a ‘patient,’

Like most patients, he just did whatever the doctor told him, hoping the problem would be solved. “Just give me a pill so I can get on with my life,” said Press, reflecting on how he felt back then.

But after obeying doctors’ orders and being compliant for so long, Press stopped being passive. He began asking questions, he started looking Crohn’s Disease critically. In short, he took his healthcare into his own hands.

Today, Press is trying to encourage other patients to do the same with Patient Commando, the entertainment company he founded.

Located in the Bloor and Bathurst area, Patient Commando’s mission is “getting patients engaged with their own healthcare,” according to Press.

The company does this through live theatre, public speaking, and humour therapy workshops, giving [...] continue the story