Dr. Gloria McNeal, Dean of the School of Health and Human Services at National University. A nurse whose role is to oversee three departments. Department of Nursing, Department of Community Health, Department of Health Sciences. This includes 4100 students, 300 faculty and 17 programs from Baccalaureate to Masters and soon a Doctor of Nursing Anesthesia Practice.
Dr. McNeil Talks Person Centered Care
What we have done is embedded person-centered principles into all of our curriculum of study and in addition to help the students really get hands-on experience, we have developed a nurse led clinic. There are five of them in the Watts community in Los Angeles, South Los Angeles. Our students can both virtually and on-site deliver primary care services to the patients that we serve. We currently have been in operation for three years. We have 600 patients in our caseload and we are bringing primary care services to a community that pretty much has limited access to care. So, our students learn firsthand person-centeredness and how to address the needs of patients who typically have been disenfranchised.
Cultural Competency: Effective Care Delivery Among Diverse Populations
Many of the patients in our South LA area are Spanish-speaking, in the 60s or so was mostly African-American demographically, now it is mostly Latino and Hispanic. So we have ensured that our clinicians are bilingual that they can speak Spanish as well as English and assist in translation and interfacing with the community. By putting individuals in this community who look like, talk like them, it makes it more receptive.
The other thing we've done is most grants will not support capital expenditures, so we couldn't build the clinic, so what we did is we embedded ourselves inside of churches, Salvation Army locations and drug rehabilitation centers so we've gone to each of the CEOs of these entities and asked if there was space, they gave us a room and we converted the room into a clinic and that's how we see our patients. We are where they live, we are in their community, we are at their place of worship, so they can trust us because we're in a facility that they recognize and that they go to. They go to the Salvation Army, they go to the drug rehabilitation centers, and they go to church.
Track Record of Working with Telemedicine in Underserved Populations
In the early 1990s this nation was hit with a horrible measles epidemic that killed 167 children and put 3,000 others in intensive care units unnecessarily, these children were not being properly immunized. The Clinton administration put out a call for a summer of service initiative and requested that we identify a problem within a city that we wanted to address. The caveat was that it had to include students in high school, in college and so forth. So, working with the Department of Health in the city of Philadelphia, we identified the immunization rates were horrific, so we put a summer of service together to immunize children ages 0 to 5.
There were eight schools of Nursing involved, at the time I was associated with Thomas Jefferson University and we were one of the mobile entities, so we put an old bookmobile into service gutted it, turned it into a clinic and traveled around this immunizing children and putting the children into the database within the Department of Public Health to finish their vaccine schedule. We did that for a while and I thought to myself, you know what, if we can do this for immunization, what about if we did it for full-scale primary care services.
I became the director of the emergency care mobile healthcare project. I had four mobile units, we traveled around Philadelphia and the surrounding counties delivering primary care services. This was a nurse led model, all of the nurses aboard the vehicle were advanced practice nurses. We did that for a few years and then I had opportunity to come out to California, I was recruited to National University, and at that time I thought, you know what, the mobile vehicle is nice, but it doesn't have all of the trust and support, it's not deeply embedded into the community. So, with this model I elected not to use a mobile unit but to make the health care clinicians mobile.
The team moves from place to place, the five locations where we're located and we added one more piece, telehealth technology, so now we're able to monitor the patients remotely. If we want to know what someone's blood pressure is doing, what their weight is doing, what their oxygen is doing, we could get all of that information. They don't have to leave their community and that information is transmitted to the cloud and we download it and put it into our medical record. So, that's the piece that I think is innovative, it's a mobile healthcare team, it’s using telehealth and it's embedded deep within the community.
Cost Effective Ways of Combating Resource Limitation to Serve High Need Populations
I found a startup company that was interested in showcasing their products, for a fraction of the cost, because telehealth technology is very expensive. So for a fraction of the cost we were able to purchase five units that included the blood pressure of the pulse oxygenation, blood glucose monitoring, body weight, heart sounds, lung sounds, and a 12-lead EKG package we could put in each of our locations. The individuals simply had to go to a place where they normally go anyway and we could monitor their vital signs. We don't yet have the capability of putting the equipment in the home and that will be our next iteration when we have more funding. I do believe that to improve access health care will be delivered in cyberspace in the future and at that point everyone will have an opportunity to experience great health.
Foster Change by Incorporating Young People in Decision Making Processes
Young people, just by definition of being young, they're very visionary and they want to make change, they really do. All you have to do is give them the avenue, so when I set up these mobile units and all of that and made it available to the young people, they were right there, I didn't have to coach them or anything. They wanted to be where the action was and they wanted to make a difference. So even now with my nurse managed clinic, I can't hold the students back, I don't have room for all of them, because it's 4,100 people. They gravitated to it naturally and they come up with amazing ideas about how to change the system. Ideas I had not thought about because of their youth and their interest in changing the world, it's just a natural entity that they have.
If You Weren't In This Career What Would You Be Doing Instead?
I always wanted to be in healthcare, I never had an interest in any other career, not that I was not exposed to the other careers. I saw them, but I didn't see them making the commitment to underserved populations and really helping people develop their health because health is everything. If you don't have your health, it's very difficult to exist. The other disciplines weren't oriented in that direction.
Who Has Impacted your Professional Journey?
Early on, I was guided by my mother, she was a single parent and we lived in an underserved environment community, she was a very visionary woman. She wanted her children to go to college, she herself did not have skills but I watched her develop an affinity for Nursing and so she started out and as a nursing assistant. She was so interested in advancing her skills, she was able to at that, apply for a waiver license for vocational nurses and there was an exam, an interview. She passed when she became a licensed vocational nurse and so I watched her manage patients, and the love that she had for the profession. She wanted me to be a nurse and so I was able to, with her guidance.
She worked three jobs to put us through school and I was able to successfully graduate from the Villanova University with my undergraduate degree. I was interested in assisting her in paying for the tuition and so forth so I joined the Navy. The military paid for my education, my last two years I was a commissioned officer. When I left Villanova and I was stationed at Philadelphia Naval Hospital where I was promoted two more times to a lieutenant and gained critical care experience. From there when I transition to the civilian world.
I wanted to continue my education so I acquired a master's degree in nursing at the University of Pennsylvania and continue to work in critical care areas as a supervisor, but I also always liked teaching students. So, I went back to the University of Pennsylvania to acquire a PhD in higher education administration. I knew I'd be a Dean or something, so that's my educational background. Of course being at those institutions gave me some forward-thinking and visionary approaches to what I do now.
Legacy in Health Care
I like my legacy to be, recognizing what it takes to address the healthcare needs of underserved populations and to be where the person is, to not impose and to recognize that we're all different and we have different ways of living and experiencing life. Not to be judgmental, to try to be where the person is to address their health care needs. If I can imbue that understanding in my students as they go out into the world, I think I will have left a legacy.
This interview was recorded at #Planetree18
"Empathy is something that's essential to us being human beings. The idea to look at our fellow men and women and see pain, happiness or suffering and feel that your self" Evan Peskin, Resident Physician, Conference Attendee.
Empathy + Innovation
WHERE } YOU } ARE
A two day conference held during June 18-20 in Cleveland, OH
In attendance were stakeholders at all levels across the healthcare space including patients, clinicians, and decision makers. To gain perspectives on empathy through different lenses I spoke with the Cleveland Clinic staff, healthcare leaders, decision makers, and healthcare enthusiasts in regards to defining patient experience #PtExp. As well as predictions and future outlook for technology and humanism in healthcare.
Jessica Crow, MBA Program Manager IV, Center for Excellence in Healthcare Communication
Incorporating Patient Centrism at the Center for Excellence in Healthcare Communications at the Cleveland Clinic
We focus on communication, empathy and just seeing people as people. Having real conversations, getting to know who they are, understanding their needs, what’s important to them, their families, their backgrounds. So that you can truly figure out how to care for the entire person.
Barriers Hindering Excellent in Patient Experience
Time! Time, is always an issue within communication and medicine. Whatever we do, the feedback we always hear is “well I don't have any time. I don't have time for that. I have to see more patients, or I don't have time to go to a class etc.”. I think that if we were to use some of the skills that we try to have people focus on, it actually saves you time. Time is always a barrier. Productivity; there's always an ask to do more and more with less and less, faster. We’re constantly trying to compete with that. What gets lost at times is that connection, seeing people as people, it then gets very robotic, monotonous, emotionless and cold.
When I hear it, what I think of is, somebody hearing me, somebody understanding what I’m going through, somebody almost feeling what I’m feeling and being able to recognize that for me. Not about themselves, not about anything else, but really thinking about what I'm going through at that time and how that must feel. When you get that genuine response in that moment, and feel like their actually listening to me, they actually understand how I’m feeling and that they care.
Joaquin Dos Reis, Program Manager, Global Education, Cleveland Clinic
Caring the Cleveland Clinic Way
I care about education, sharing information, I care about others, I care about our patients, our colleagues, caregivers, staff, everyone!
Empathy at the Global Education Department.
Empathy means everything. If you are a Cleveland Clinic caregiver, from the first time you park your car, you are in the Cleveland Clinic, you are a Cleveland Clinic caregiver. Part of that is that we have the opportunity to work with patients and work with colleagues and physicians from all over the world. We connect the dots, we bring international physicians to the Cleveland Clinic to meet our physicians and leaders.
Julie Rish, Ph.D., A Clinical Psychologist, Director of Design and Best Practice in the Office of Patient Experience | Director of Communication Skills Training and an Assistant Professor of Medicine at the Cleveland Clinic
Humanism in Medicine
I think that medicine is inherently human. The art of medicine without relationships--- We're not just technicians. Similarly, providing excellent patient experience is about meeting people in a very relational human way. Optimal healing can’t occur without the humanity of medicine and true understanding of another person sitting in front of you, without being able to empathize with your experience. Relationships are healing in and of themselves. When we're connecting as people it's healing to me as a clinician but it's also healing to the person that's sitting in front of me.
Barriers in Healthcare Delivery
There’s a lot of barriers that equal time and task pressure. How can I be present in this moment and not be thinking, three steps ahead or three steps behind but just to be present in the moment? When you do that you can find meaning and purpose in your work. The barrier is how do we overcome those obstacles to create moments of presence, being mindful and truly connecting a human level? In doing so, that's where we can find restoration and purpose and get back to why you chose this profession, this career, this entity in the first place.
Richard I. Levin, MD, FACP, FACC, FAHA, President and CEO of the Arnold P. Gold Foundation, a position he’s held since 2012.
Thoughts on Technology & Healthcare
Technological wonders need now to be incorporated as physicians had done for these two millennia into a system of practice and care that shares the responsibility for the care to the extent possible with the patient and the family. I think it's not so far away, it's not so difficult for us to figure out how to do that as long as this is an accepted goal of the entire system with each health system contributing to it to the best that they can.
Michael Joseph, PMP is a chronic illness patient from Northern Virginia, currently the founder and C.E.O. of Prime Dimensions and Executive Director of Empathy. Health.
What I can do overall to contribute to the patient journey, patient’s experiences is that's the impetus for empathy.health, part of that was influenced by what's going on here at the conference, Patient Experience Conference with Dr Adrienne Boissy, MD, MA who has been preaching this for quite some time long before empathy.Health came along.
Curating content from that site into ours would be great. In addition to other industry leaders and folks on Twitter that have really contributed dialogue as well. There’s Empathy Princess on Twitter, Merriman. There’s so many people on Twitter even today, the whole #pinksocks movement and tweet chats (#HCLDR) about this. It's a great platform for people to voice their opinions, their frustrations and best practices. Maybe, we can grab some of that and put that collectively on Empathy.Health as a resource.
David Watson, MD. A physician surveyor for The Joint Commission.
Healthcare Workers & Empathy
I think the empathy for me and the important part of this conference (#PESummit) is what I talked about earlier, thats second victim. These are healthcare workers that are involved in an adverse event. The empathy that needs to be expressed to them is that connection of realizing that they've been in a difficult situation and they need to be supported.
They need to be reassured and they need to know that they went into medicine for the right reasons. They take care of patients because they love what they do and they should continue to have that fire in their eye when they go to work every day to be totally engaged. We know that total engagement leads to less errors so we want our workforce to be engaged.
Jason A Wolf, Ph.D. CPXP. Dr. Wolf is the President of The Beryl Institute
Patient Experience & Empathy
We did a research on empathy, compassion, all these kind of things. We asked consumers, to what extent empathy and compassion was important to them. I was actually surprise, it came down the list. I think it's because, empathy is a healthcare centric language. A typical patient and family member out there knows what they want to see. They want to feel listened to, they want to feel like they are being spoken to in a way they understand etc. Those were the things they elevated in terms of importance. For me the lens is not to get stuck in what empathy is but to think about what does it look like in action.
I’m probably less concerned about how we define empathy. How we elevate empathy and the actions that we take to ensure that patients, family members and those that are delivering care feel heard, are communicated to effectively, are engaged in ways that matters to them, then they feel what we believe empathy is. All of those things without having to put a label on it in a way that is about us doing something but more so about engaging the folks in care themselves.
Claire Pfarr, Marketing Manager, Oneview
Thoughts on Patient Experience
Patient experience is one of those things I have found where no matter who you are, what walk of life you come from, when you’re speaking to people they all have a patient story. Everybody have a patient story. Whether they were a patient, or whether they were caring for a patient, everybody has healthcare experience that most often that's most often not necessarily a good one. I think that is very telling, but I think that healthcare has the opportunity to really take care of these people and to turn a negative situation into a very positive one.
Evan Peskin, Resident Physician | #PESummit Attendee
Thoughts on Empathy in Healthcare
Empathy is something that's essential to us being human beings. The idea to look at our fellow men and women and see pain, happiness or suffering and feel that your self. To be able to truly feel what someone else is going through. It's different from sympathy, it's not just feeling bad for someone else for what their going through. Empathy is truly experiencing or attempting to experience what the other person is going through.
Improving the Patient Experience
We improve the patient experience (as much as it's a cliche) by recognizing that everyone is a patient at one time or another. Even if you’re not the patient sitting in the hospital bed, you’re the family member standing next to your love one there. You improve the patient experience by taking the physician off the pedestal. Physicians should not be autonomous decision makers anymore without any input from patients and family members.
It really made a difference when my nurse: stood by my side and made physical contact with me during my biopsy. It was so comforting and reduced my anxiety. Thank you!
A UCSF staff person (receptionist, security guard, health aid) made me feel better when: let me lie down on the couch to rest and even dimmed the lights for me.
Something my doctor did or said that really comforted me: Gave me a hug.
Dr. Crowe then stated These are often recalled years later.
The receptionist/scheduler has been so helpful when: She moved another appointment by 10 minutes so that I could have my very first appointment after diagnosis with the surgeon, without having to wait 3 weeks.
"I can't tell you how often people describe this kind of behavior by schedulers and receptionist" Kelsey Crowe, Ph.D
Social Media Activities & #PESummit
During the summit Colin Hung posed a crucial question, challenging the glory of patient experience to the #HCLDR tweet-chat community “Have We Reached Peak Patient Experience?”. Read more on Hubberts Peak Theory, Colin's rationale and thoughts on patient experience via the Healthcare Leadership Blog
"The future of patient experience relies on meaningful strategic (maybe) relationships with each other. Where we're talking together, and where we’re coming together to solve these problems, Julie Rish, Ph.D.".
Julie Rish, PhD is a Clinical Psychologist, Director of Design and Best Practice in the Office of Patient Experience at the Cleveland Clinic. Dr. Rish is also the Director of Communication Skills Training and an Assistant Professor of Medicine at the Cleveland Clinic.
Julie Rish, Ph.D., MA, Role at The Cleveland Clinic
I have spent most of my professional career helping people with health behavior change. That blends nicely to the work that I do in patient experience because it is about how do we change and adapt our behaviors to best support our mission and cause in the organization and come together. As the director of communication skills training for a medical school, I'm active in teaching our students what communication with patients and each other could look like and potentially should look like in bringing in that next generation to health care.
Most of my life is in patient experience, in really leading efforts in one; how do we partner with patients, their family and their support persons to really improve care and to reimagine what that partnership looks like, so that we can be very strategic to maximize the full potential of partnership and to manage the complexities of health care together as a community.
The other part of my life is complimentary as applying plain design thinking to our work. So, in a variety of settings having really great collaborations across the Cleveland Clinic. Questioning, how do we do that in a way that brings together all the stakeholders to design something better for patients and for our people.
Discussing Patient Experience & Humanism in Medicine
I think medicine is inherently human. The art of medicine without relationships---We're not just technicians. Similarly, providing excellent patient experience is about meeting people in a very relational human way. I think that you can't disconnect those two things. Optimal healing can’t occur without the humanity of medicine and true understanding of another person sitting in front of you, without being able to empathize with your experience.
Relationships are healing in and of themselves. When we're connecting as people it's healing to me as a clinician but it's also healing to the person that's sitting in front of me. We have to think about going above and beyond what we can do medically for someone.
Achieving excellence in Patient Experience at the Cleveland Clinic
What we've done so beautifully is really put some stake in that, that we are going to care about our patients, we’re going to care about our people and we're going to invest a lot of energy in both. Trying to understand one another, trying to appreciate each other's perspective, see things through different lenses and design it together. That's a beautiful model that will help us improve as a system but also help us improve and transform health care.
Barriers to achieving humanism in medicine
There’s a lot of barriers to being human in medicine we know about widely publicized, burnout in clinicians. The detrimental effect that has on them individually but also on patient care. It's double edged and it's complex to solve. Also, add the burden of documentation. Providers spending more time in documentation than they are in front of the patient. Trying to find meaning and purpose in their work and the complexity of trying to solve that. The knowledge and the explosion of that is another barrier in some ways. Trying to stay current when they're so much information is hard. How many hours a day can one possibly invest, then how are they finding balance in their life and spending time outside of the walls of the system that you work?
There’s a lot of barriers that equal time and task pressure. How can I be present in this moment and not thinking, three steps ahead or three steps behind but just to be present in the moment? When you do that you can find meaning and purpose in your work. The barrier is how do we overcome those obstacles to create moments of presence? Being mindful and truly connecting a human level. In doing so, that's where we can find restoration and purpose and get back to why you chose this profession, this career, this entity in the first place. That’s our greatest opportunity right now is to try to navigate those barriers in a way that is optimizing the human connection.
The importance of Humanism in medicine
The importance of clear. I talked about that relationships are healing and that it's hard to create a relationship without being present and authentically yourself. Therefore, if you're struggling with burnout and it's easy to depersonalize a situation and it creates some distance between you and the person sitting in front of you, it's also hard to create the meaningful moments. That equal satisfaction with your career, with your experience in that moment and with the quality of care.
Trending towards a barrier free healthcare delivery system
Navigating the system in a way that we are creating that is our greatest imperative. We have to think bigger than clinicians. We absolutely have to continue to invest in our people, that's clinicians but I think that's other members of her our clinical teams and our staff in a health care system that we see burnout in many different places.
Being thoughtful about what we’re and how we're investing in our people was really important. Thinking bigger than just the people, that its systemic and if we're asking people to spend half of their day in documentation and in the evenings and all hours of the night then how can we possibly expect them to overcome these barriers.
Thinking systemically, what does healthcare need to do to better support our clinicians. The burden of documentation, policy and the pressures that we're placing on top of them. While also thinking, how do we change the top down but also how do we support from the bottom up. In addition, equipping people with the skills to communicate effectively to connect to meaning and purpose in their clinical encounters. In some ways that's by just teaching someone how to listen and to empathize with someone’s experience and perspective and connect to that as a human.
Again, I would transcend more than just our clinicians. I think it is our nurses, it's the other people that are touching our patients. From the person that checks you in, to the person that you speak to on the phone when you're trying to navigate and make an appointment, to the information that you get when you leave the hospital. There's so many different touch points that we have to connect to.
Technology & healthcare
These types of solutions have to be co-designed. Oftentimes it feels like we are pushing solutions out and those solutions need to be brought together from the people most intimately affected. So our patients, our people, our clinical staff, our non-clinical staff. Those people need to come together to define what that solution looks like and what the need is.
Oftentimes, I feel like we're just creating solutions or “hey great lets give you some communication training”, but is that the training that you need is that what's going to solve the problem and is this actually the problem to solve or the opportunity to innovate around. I think if we are not talking to those people most intimately affected at the beginning and throughout, I'm not certain that our solutions are going to work and that we're actually going to be transformational.
Patient Experience In Its Current State & Future Outlook
In the future our patient experience relies on meaningful partnerships and collaborations. Intimately integrating our patients, their family and support persons into our work and having them help us co-design care, from the beginning and from all phases and all levels of the organization. If we're not doing that then we run the risk that we're not actually providing the care, the needs, the solutions that are patients really need.
Bringing them in and sharing that space with them in true partnership, not in a focus group setting. The true partnership where we are identifying the problems to working alongside, to creating solutions together and testing them out. The patient experience relies on our willingness and openness to do that together. The future of patient experience relies on meaningful strategic (maybe) relationships with each other. Where we're talking together, and where we’re coming together to solve these problems.
Meaningful Integration Of Technology
I would suggest that technology needs to be seamless, in that it affects both of our patients and our clinicians. It needs to solve for the tremendous burden of documentation and the non face to face time that our clinicians are struggling with. It needs to facilitate making health care more simple for patients.
If you think about we what exists right now there are thousands of apps and thousands of different platforms that someone could go to. How do you know what's the right app to download or how to even find the right one the problem that you're trying to solve. We in health care need to streamline those applications in a way that's meaningful to our patients. That's going to help them navigate the system and connect them in seamless ways.
I would say the same for our clinicians. Technology needs to create the moments of connection. The human moments and take the burden out of some of the non-human moments for clinicians. It needs to solve for both ends of that spectrum to simplify the experience of health care. Otherwise, you need an app to navigate the apps.
The most important thing is being willing to be vulnerable, humble and to learn from each other. To be thoughtful about how we partner with the people around us, how we learn from each other, etc. All of that takes deep understanding, empathy and really trying to appreciate someone else's experience and perspective.
If we’re not doing that we're not really solving at that intersect, that’s really where we need to be. What are the solutions that make the most sense for the most people, at the right time? To me that's transformational! So, we could setup really great population health efforts, but if it's not the practice, the services or the values of the community that it serves, then what have we done.
I think really being thoughtful to first understand the people that are out there. Really empathizing with that, then solve those problems together and create those opportunities together. That’s what's exciting about health care is the great potential of what you can do together and in a collaboration. I’m excited to be a part of that!
"We are extremely interested in moving the power curve from a patriarchal classical circumstance in which doctors give orders & provide directions to patients to one in which the scientifically excellent care is developed together collaboratively".
Dr. Richard Levin, is the President & C.E.O. of the Arnold P. Gold Foundation, a position he’s held since 2012.
Discussing Patient experience & humanism in medicine.
The relationship between doctors and patients has been existing and catalogued in the west for about 2,500 years and what is most important about it is the establishment of a human connection. The opportunity for the patient and doctor to be as close to one another as possible with trust, a sense of safety, a sense of the awesome responsibility that a doctor has to take care of a patient. Modern humanism and The Gold Foundation has been working on this problem for the last thirty years.
This is our 30th anniversary. The problem is more complex now because systems of care exist now where none existed previously. What do I mean? A system of care can identify a best practice which will involve the creation of a workflow; a series of work flows to manage an acute illness. Let's say that best practice was developed for the general population not for an individual and while compassion, integrity, empathy, responsibility, respect, resilience are all important attributes of someone who's practicing health care with humanism, humanism requires something more, something beyond patient centered care; A co-production of health. If there is a north star guiding the foundation's work right now, it's the recognition that we have become the champions of the human connection in health care over these 30 years.
We are extremely interested in moving the power curve from a patriarchal classical circumstance in which doctors give orders, provide directions to patients to one in which the scientifically excellent care is developed together collaboratively. A Nobel Prize in economics was awarded to the woman who originally came up with this notion that the best services will be co-produced by the receiver and the provider, not just the uni-directional in nature. Therefore, we are now going forward trying to make certain that in every health care encounter between a clinician and a patient we make sure that there is enough time, enough trust in the human connections so that the health care to be provided can be a collaborative decision of doctor and patient.
Co-Production of Health care
I'll give you an example of what I'm talking about; At the annual Jordan Cohen humanism lecture given at the annual meeting of the Association of American Medical Colleges last November, the talk was delivered by Don Berwick. The co-founder of the Institute for Health Care Improvement and for a while President Obama as director of CMS responsible for the development of Medicare and Medicaid services throughout the country. He has been a leader in the reform movement in health care. He suggested that the things that patients could be taught to do themselves so that they had a sense of greater autonomy in caring for themselves and dealing with an illness were much greater then we currently give patients the capability of understanding.
He showed several videos in a research context of a young man who had a genetic disorder that required a feeding with a nasogastric tube every night of his life while he slept. This young patient was taught to insert the nasogastric tube through the nose into the stomach by himself and he mastered it very easily. He then set up the infusion of the nutrients solution and took care of himself in that fashion.
Then he realized that one of the things that about illness that was really bothering the other pediatric patients he dealt with in the office when he saw them was this lack of autonomy, this lack of self-assurance capacity. He made a video to teach everyone how to do that, and it's very popular as it as an example of what the coproduction of health is actually about.
Things that the health care system provides but things as well including education in which the patient and family bring to the encounter critical elements that must be incorporated into their care plan. This is what we imagine will be the optimal patient experience in the mid-21st century and we are working with like minded partners across the country to try and make this a reality. When Dr. Berwick showed the video of this, there were gasps in an otherwise very sophisticated audience.
Chronic hemodialysis is extremely complicated and potentially dangerous. It requires making contact with an indwelling artery and vein with a catheter. Making certain that the site is sterile, making certain that the dialysis proceeds without to arrangements in the salt content of blood. It is quite complicated, but nothing beyond the sort of daily activities that any human might actually do. In a small study a number of people that have been taught to give themselves hemodialysis at home with the machinery necessary and all of the elements that make it safe for a given patient to do that. The sense of self actuation that allows a patient who is dealing with a chronic and serious illness, the failure of a major of working is astonishing and that's what the video revealed.
From the young child delivering nightly nasogastric nutrition to an older patient with renal failure kidney failure on chronic hemodialysis it is possible to involve the willing patient and family in entirely higher level of care and decision making than we have been used to in the past. Shifting that power curve from doctor, nurse, health system to more equality and collaboration with the patient and family we think it is a higher order of patient centric care.
Equipping Physicians for the Future of Medicine
Medicine has developed like any field over a very long period of time. There are few organizations, few fields that have survived 1,000 years of medicine and physicians have survived for 2,500 in the West if we mark the beginning with Hippocrates. For most of that time the only tool available to us was the surgical knife. We didn't have a drug of any variety that were in fact proven to be of value in the treatment of anything.
Penicillin became widely available in the 1940’s after being released first in 1928. And everything in the armamentarium, the CAT scans, the M.R.I. microsurgery, the ability to do robotic surgery, knowing about the anatomy of an internal problem but without cutting, all of that has happened in a very short period of time since the 1970. Physicians are trying to catch up to the changes that have occurred in technology all of which promised to return to them more time with the patient. That hasn't worked out as planned. The electronic health record unfortunately while developing rapidly is still a halfway technology. Most primary care physicians indicated in surveys that they spend two hours typing after seeing patients for every hour that they spend with patients in the hospital.
The annual survey by Johns Hopkins of a residence life indicates that probably 60% of their time is spent typing and those electronic health records at the moment are real time continuous wallets of practice issues, not the standard narrative that describes to anyone who wants to read it, including the patient and family, what the nature of the illness and the lives that they have led are actually like.
Barriers to Humanism in Medicine
We have extraordinary barriers, new ones of a disruptive technological age that have dramatically modified or what the experience of being ill what the experience of trying to remain healthy is actually like. We have the deep belief by most practitioners that molecular biology and the genomic age will indeed provide cures for most of the chronic illnesses that we encounter. That was a belief that began back at the beginning of this century and we now know that it's going to take years before those cures are available.
The notion that the cures and technology will take the place of the human connection is wrong. We need both and the touchstone for The Gold Foundation is scientifically excellent compassionate and collaborative care in every health care encounter. If we can reach that we truly will have an optimal health care system and the patient experience will be the best that it can be.
Medical education changed dramatically in the United States with the publication of the Flexner Report in about 1910. Abraham Flexner was an educator and was hired by the Carnegie Foundation to write a report about what medical education was like in North America. He spent a couple of years and visited most of the medical schools in Canada and the United States and published a report that showed that most medical schools were not up to the chore of producing doctors.
They were apprenticeships without a scientific method, the science underlying developing medicine was not emphasized or provided in this context. A better example of what medical education could be like were discovered at Hopkins University of Pennsylvania and Harvard using those as a model he proposed the system of medical education that we have in place now which is two years of deep inquiry into the sciences underlying the practice of medicine.
This was the method used in Europe in late 1880’s which is there are induced to revolution. We switch from wearing black coats to white coats, to identify the fact that we were practicing a new kind of science. The second two years of medical school were designed to be done in a teaching hospital. The requirement that he wrote was that those teaching hospitals have the same ethos, the same interests as universities that is education continued education of doctors.
That was the standard and remains the standard today and it has resulted in a kind of wonderful meritocracy which admits students based on their apparent capacities but does not take into account the E.Q. the emotional quotient of intelligence and does not take into account the inherent capacity of any applicant to communicate and communicate deeply with the patient in the model that we have discussed in the co-production of health.
The barriers to getting to optimal in terms of patient experience include everything from the selection process for medical students to the experience within medical school to the experience of becoming a doctor as a resident then and a young practitioner in which every element has been optimized not for the interaction with the patient, not to optimize the patient experience but to provide quality which is defined by efficiency and it's not enough.
We can do better and by taking a look at the epidemic of burnout of physicians and nurses because the systems are making administrators requirements on their time that should not be there all. Improving the health of the health care workforce and making that deep connection between health provider and patient in the coproduction of health. Those are the barriers that need to be overcome and it will take us probably another 25 years to get there. We've got a long way in defining what patient centered care looks like and I've suggested today that there's another step which is called the coproduction of health.
There are organizations in many countries that are approaching this problem logically and with a great deal of attention to what the experience of the patient is actually like. An organization known as PlaneTree which is headquartered in Connecticut has been accrediting hospital systems, health care systems, individual practices. I think in over 40 countries for 40 years this is their 40th anniversary and they have gone a long way to describing what is necessary to practice patient centered care from what must be provided architecturally all the way to the interactions that occur with patients at the most difficult moments of their lives.
Technology & Health Care
Technology has both allowed for revolution in the delivery of care and this will continue so that rather than spending six weeks in bed after experiencing a heart attack and having six months of physical therapy or disability after a hip replacement, patients without co-morbidities are sent home the day after a hip replacement. It's extraordinary the molecular cocktails that there are and will be available to treat cancers and other chronic illnesses are wonderful.
The electronic health record is transportable but it's not the design that is optimal. All of these technological wonders need now to be incorporated as physicians had done for these two millennia into a system of practice and care that shares the responsibility for the care to the extent possible with the patient and the family. I think it's not so far away, it's not so difficult for us to figure out how to do that as long as this is an accepted goal of the entire system with each health system contributing to it to the best that they can.