By CINDY THROOP
Susannah Fox aptly illustrated what is happening in health care during the ‘The Patient Is In’ panel of the Health 2.0 conference with some amusing LOLCat pictures captioned “ur doin it wrong.” Put simply, when it comes to involving patients in health care and health information technology, chances are, ur doin it wrong.
When I was at the Fall 2008 Health 2.0 conference a year ago, someone asked me, “where are the patients?” Well, I didn’t see any there, but without a doubt, patients made their debut at the Spring 2009 Health 2.0 conference in Boston. When ePatient Dave spoke to the audience from the balcony, it represented a symbolic shift in health care. So, is the Health 2.0 conference doin it wrong? I don’t think so. Is there room for improvement? Sure.
As Trisha Torrey noted during the patient panel, while it’s nice that patients had their own panel, patients should be on every panel. Good point and well said! I do, however, think it is important to acknowledge that the Health 2.0 conference did a great job and has set a new standard for patient participation.
Months of preparation and work went into a video project documenting patients’ use of and experimentation with Health 2.0 services to manage their health. Thank you to Indu Subaiya and Lizzie Dunklee for truly putting patients at the center of Health 2.0 with that project. It will be interesting to see how upcoming conferences, especially those that claim to be about patients, measure up.
If you are curious about the patient revolution (you’ve only seen the tip of the iceberg), read Sarah Greene’s e-patients.net post: Participatory Medicine as Revolution! Think Critically! Communicate! Revolution is not about marketing hype and conferences with the word “patient” or “ePatient” in the conference name.
The days of 1.0 medicine and health care are over. Things will never be the same. You can join the revolution or get left behind. Kudos to the Health 2.0 team for supporting the patient revolution in health information technology.
Cindy Throop is a University of Michigan-trained social science researcher specializing in social policy and evaluation. She is one of the few social workers who can program in SAS, SPSS, SQL, VBA, and Perl. She provides research, data, and project management expertise to projects on various topics, including social welfare, education, and health. www.cindythroop.com