Tuesday, June 15, 2010

The Value of Being an E-Patient

Tonight I went to to two great talks.

The first one was on Comparative Effectiveness Research (or Review) and what it can tell us. Scott Gazelle gave us a great overview by telling us how CER was introduced in the 2003 Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement, and Modernization Act (and not just in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act), about the CER definition for the Federal Council for CER ("the conduct and synthesis of systematic research comparing different interventions and strategies to prevent, diagnose, treat and monitor health conditions..."; complete definition here), and about the latest developments. Then philosopher Norman Daniels dwelt on what kind of questions CER is able to answer and which ones it can't.

The second talk was by e-patient Dave and his doctor, Danny Sands. They spoke on "The New World of Doctor-Patient Partnerships: How networked patients & physicians are collaborating to improve healthcare". If you don't know their story, I think it is worthwhile to watch this seven-minute video:

Although I had already heard a lot from them via the internet, the talk was riddled with interesting issues. One of the most interesting things to me that they mentioned (maybe unintentionally?) was the value of of an equipped, enabled, empowered, engaged, equals, emancipated and expert patient (definition of an e-patient). While that might not but quantifiable, it is certainly a very interesting thought. In Dave's case, I am personally convinced that being an e-patient as well as staying active and positive helped saving his life.


e-Patient Dave said...

Ben, you're exactly right about attitude. Get this: a year after my case, my oncologist Dr. David McDermott said "You have an incredible life force that everyone who worked on your case was aware of."

My oncologist said that! "Incredible life force."

You know what I said in reply? "Okay, doctor, I'll see your Incredible Life Force, and I'll raise you a 'What the hell is THAT? Can we bottle it??'"

You get it, big-time. Wait'll you see one of the early chapters coming up in my book: "Facing Death - With Hope." Seriously.

Ben said...


I do believe in psychoneuroimmunology. The department where I worked for a while (psychosomatics/internal medicine) in Germany had a research lab focusing on that.

I think you ARE bottling it: in your talks, in your social media presence, and in your book. Curious about your book! Would be happy to blog about it if you have review copies available.

Keep bottling!

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