Become a Patient Advocate

    Do you reside in the Edmonton area?
    Are you a caring, empathetic, compassionate individual who is looking for a way to make a difference in the lives of others?

If your answer to the above questions is “Yes,” the Open Arms Patient Advocacy society is looking for you. Click here to read more about this exciting opportunity.

Alberta Health Services – An Exciting Initiative

On Thursday, September 28th, Dr. Verna Yiu, Alberta Health Service (AHS) president and CEO, announced that the AHS board had approved a deal that will see the implementation of an advanced clinical information system throughout Alberta. This information system will serve as an information hub for all of AHS’s clinical care areas, which include hospitals, ambulatory clinics and continuing care centres. Currently, there are approximately, 1,300 information systems being used, all of which will be consolidated by this one system. Click here to read more about this initiative and what it will mean to patients, providers and healthcare as a whole.

Are You Dancing With Your Healthcare Provider?

In this video, Sarah Krüg uses the analogy of the continuous give and take in the “Tango” to illustrate the foundation of balanced partnership and connection that can exist between patient and physician. Unfortunately, this dance may not be occurring for some patients. As one member of the Patients 4 Change community stated, “To date, there are multiple songs playing at the same time, with each one having a different beat. Suffice it to say, my feet are very sore from being stepped on.” What kind of dance do you share with your healthcare providers?

Connecting Through Conversation

For many individuals, their goal is quality of life rather than medically extended longevity.  This is especially true for frail seniors.  Unfortunately, there can be a disconnect between what the senior desires, the actions taken and ultimately the healthcare provided.  As a means of addressing this disconnect, a new study is being conducted in Canada that aims to evaluate ways to improve care planning conversations.  As Dr. John You, project lead for the project states, “Advance care planning can have a significant impact on the patient experience and the family experience….They deserve to have their voices heard.”​  Click here to read more about this study.

Helping Oneself and Others

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In an online post, Sheila, a member of the Pts4Chg community, raises an important topic. How does one obtain assistance for oneself or others when it comes to health care? How does one

tactfully get help for yourself or a loved one, or even possibly someone we don’t know who is in the hospital and we see that he/she is not getting the care that the Dr. prescribed, such as meds being missed or denied, patient not being fed, etc. Sadly, only those who have a loved one who comes to visit, will get these issues fixed, but I have seen (too many times) meals delivered to people without a loved one there to feed them, which were just picked up and taken away when the dietitians came back to collect trays, no one to feed those who are the most sick and alone or help them get the care the Dr. prescribed. In my local hospital, those with visitors get the most care because then there are ‘witnesses’ to what did or did not happen. The ones who are alone are in a dangerously negligent position.

Any comments and suggestions relating to this topic are welcome.

Curbside Consultations – Learning From and With Each Other

curbside consultationThe following was written and submitted by the Appropriate Use of Antipsychotics (AUA) project team.

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Long-term care (LTC) sites often wait months for expert consultation on very challenging responsive behaviours (or send the person to hospital). Last November we experimented by throwing out an open invitation to our LTC contacts to help out with a case study from North zone. There were many insightful suggestions from more than 30 callers (and no one said, “Have you thought of adding more drugs?”) We wrote the case study and ideas into a report and shared with the sites. Curbside consultations have grown in popularity with 30 – 50 callers (some representing groups of up to 10 staff members) at noon and 2 pm on the 3rd Wednesday of each month. This is helping residents and staff get more timely help, is educating and empowering staff to try new ideas, and has the potential to take some pressure off the very stretched mental health consultants.

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Click here to learn about the AUA team and their initiatives.

Can A Hospital Tell A Doctor To Stop Talking About Abortion?

Diane Horvath-Cosper, an obstetrician and gynecologist, filed a complaint against a Washington, D.C., hospital after being instructed that she must stop saying that she does abortions. The hospital cites safety as the reason for their request but might other factors be involved? Read the article to find out.

A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words?

Have you ever found yourself at a medical appointment trying desperately to explain to your physician what and how you are feeling? Unfortunately, no matter how hard you try, nothing you are saying is coming out right and any utterances you make are not conveying the message you want. Rather than struggling to verbalize your thoughts, why not draw them instead? This idea is explored in Damien Pollard’s article Magic Eyes.

If Doctors Are Kind to Each Other, Patients Benefit Too

Negative relationships can exist between physicians and their presence can impact patient care. As Dr. Karthikesan explains, “The doctor-patient relationship paradigm depends closely on the doctor-doctor relationship. Bad and damaging cultures foster a hostile atmosphere that erodes trust, tarnishes good communication and promotes disrespect within the medical community. The role doctors play in harming each other ubiquitously affects the patient’s care, however unintentionally. The question becomes, how can the relationship between physicians be improved or as Karthikesan asks, “So what went wrong in the noblest of professions and how do we fix it?”

Click here to read the solutions proposed.

How to Make the Patient the VIP

In a recent article, Thomas R. Frieden notes that public health and clinical medicine should work together but all too often, this is not the case.  As a means of addressing this situation, Frieden suggests that the two areas can be integrated effectively by making patients the VIPs of the system.  What does it mean to make the patient the VIP?  Read the article to find out.