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Category: Engaged Patients

The Myth of Evidence Based Medicine (in Primary Care in Australia)

The Myth of Evidence Based Medicine (in Primary Care in Australia)

Let me be clear from the outset: I’m grateful for modern medicine.  Without it, myself and many members of my family would be dead. I’m also grateful for doctors.  The majority are very well motivated.  Many are excellent at what they do. With all that said, the more I have worked in healthcare (in Australia), the more concerned I have become about the lack of standardised practice, particularly in primary care.  The idea that medicine is practiced based on consistent,…

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“And So It Begins…” – Why We Need To Talk About Medical Paternalism

“And So It Begins…” – Why We Need To Talk About Medical Paternalism

Without being a “difficult patient”, I believe that I would have had to go 50+ hours without food whilst waiting for surgery, rather than the 30 hours I did wait.  Was it really a reasonable expectation that a patient fit around the inability of the hospital to forecast and plan surgical demand in that way?  Did anybody notice or care about the way in which my enforced fasting might impact my outcomes as a patient?   Almost two years ago,…

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Why We Need a Partnership Model Between Patients and Doctors

Why We Need a Partnership Model Between Patients and Doctors

As our health systems slowly (and quite often reluctantly) become aware of the importance of listening to patients, and the growing evidence base to support the fact that engaged patients get better health outcomes, I want to make the case for developing a partnership model between patients and doctors. Before I discuss why I think this is critical to a sustainable health system, I wanted to start by defining what an engaged patient is… An Engaged (or sometimes we use the…

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Patients as Health Consumers

Patients as Health Consumers

As a health consumer, it would be good to see a move towards funding models that reward health outcomes as well as occasions of service.  But, regardless of whether we see those changes in 2 years or 20 years, the expectations of increasingly digitally-savvy health consumers will be a driver of choice, accessibility and quality, which in turn will drive the adoption of new digitally-enabled models of care.   After a busy period of speaking, writing and innovating (to be announced),…

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Separating The Signal From The Noise – Finding Clinical Relevance In Consumer Health Data

Separating The Signal From The Noise – Finding Clinical Relevance In Consumer Health Data

In it’s unadulterated form, consumer health data is 99+% noise.  If we present it to health providers in this form, we’re going to very quickly turn them off the idea of gathering data from patients and caregivers.  Any who could blame them?  If Digital Health is going to add value to busy health providers, we need to separate the signal from the noise for them.   In the rush to gather vast amounts of data from consumer health devices and…

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Open Your EMR To Patients – Let Patients Help

Open Your EMR To Patients – Let Patients Help

… I now believe that the only way to significantly improve clinical data quality is by opening up EMRs and Clinical Information Systems to patients and caregivers, allowing them to read all that is written about them, and to flag incorrect data.  In addition to the transparency of knowing what is being written about them, patients and their caregivers are a vital line of defence in protecting against medical errors that arise from poor quality data.   As I work with…

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Health Care Homes – A Patient’s Role in Continuity of Care

Health Care Homes – A Patient’s Role in Continuity of Care

To achieve change, however, we need to see changes in behaviour from patients, not just health providers.  No amount of technology can ever replace the deep value of a long-term healthcare relationship between patient and doctor…   In recent weeks I’ve written a lot about the urgent need to drive deep change into health systems across the world, with the tools provided by Digital Health offering great opportunities to develop new, innovative models of care.  I remain convinced that much of…

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Why We Need Deep Medication Adherence Information

Why We Need Deep Medication Adherence Information

It is important to remember that one of the key reasons for gathering medication adherence data is to facilitate a conversation with a health provider regarding the complex issues of side effects, burden and cost, as well as other behavioural, psychological and financial reasons why a patient may be struggling with medication compliance.  These reasons need to be captured, respected and discussed, in order for behavioural change to be enabled.   In the emerging market for digital health, there are many…

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