Last Friday we heard from PatientsLikeMe Head of Community Liz Morgan about her experiences at the Institute of Medicine’s Partnering with Patients workshop. Today we hear from multiple sclerosis (MS) patient Laura Phillips, a PatientsLikeMe member who spoke at the event.
As a speaker at the workshop, Sally Okun, PatientsLikeMe’s Health Data Integrity & Patient Safety Director, invited me to speak for the patients of PatientsLikeMe as her co-presenter.
I had everything worked out to exactly what I wanted to say and right in front of me so I wouldn’t forget, but I couldn’t tell you what I even said. LOL. I know I didn’t want to look down and read, it needed to come from the heart and what I could remember. I thought I’d freeze and not be able to say a word, but after introducing myself I felt really comfortable with looking at the audience and speaking. Even with Liz Morgan, Head of Community at PatientsLikeMe, taking pictures, I was able to talk.
There was a large, diverse group of people attending and presenting. I wish I could do a better job of portraying the event, but it was large. Healthcare, patients and families were the subjects of the workshop. Lots of ideas were put forth on everything from how to improve the healthcare system to how to make patient records available to the patients electronically, such as recording doctor visits and putting them on a CD for the patient to keep and play for other family or friends who were not at the appointment.
Recording doctor visits is something I’d love to see. How many times have you left the doctor’s office and each person present remembers the visit differently? Or you can’t remember if you discussed a particular test or not? I did push the importance of the patient keeping hard copies of ALL tests, doctors’ notes, you name it, get a copy. I would love to see the ability of viewing my records electronically so I could view my results quicker, make notes to ask the doctor, etc. There was also talk of submitting questions for the doctor in advance for the doctor to review and be more prepared for the visit. Also, the staff would print a copy of your submitted questions so you would have it in hand and remember what to talk about.
There was way too much to compress into a brief review of the event, but there were a lot of really good, logical ideas presented. How many of the things discussed will eventually become a reality? Only time will tell. Privacy will be a major roadblock I fear. Everyone that I heard talk did agree that collecting data from the patients themselves was important, and PatientsLikeMe was mentioned more than once by others there.
Sally and Liz were a delight to meet and spend time with, as we are all passionate about PatientsLikeMe and how it has helped many of us through the years. Really had a great time, and I wish I could have spent more time with Sally and Liz, but the time we did spend talking was productive and invaluable.