In the midst of all that’s going on, I had to find a new dentist for insurance reasons. This created a several-month gap in my oral health maintenance, and my other ailments do seem to be affecting my teeth–they hurt. But despite the twinges, the crowns will just have to wait until January (see the My Current Story posts).
Mentioning teeth gives me the opportunity to report a comment I just received from Matt Bond, grants and programs manager at DentaQuest Foundation in Boston. This organization has its pulse on current waves in healthcare delivery and management and is dedicated to ensuring high-quality oral care for all.
Matt, who happens to be my son, was inspired to write after reading about all the hiccups I encountered in scheduling and getting my recent MRIs. Those problems, combined with other glitches and miscues, incited me to start this blog about patients taking increasing responsibility for managing their own healthcare.
Here’s what Matt said:
FROM CONTACT FORM
Name: Matt Bond
Comment, Question, Tip, or Story: Hi.This blog content is indicative of the many problems that public health is currently working to fix. For examples of efforts currently under way, check out the following links.
- Escape Fire Movie – The Fight to Rescue American Healthcare
- Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) – Triple Aim: Better Health and Better Care at Lower Cost
- National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) – Patient-Centered Medical Home Recognition
- Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS.gov) – Accountable Care Organizations (ACO)
And interact with them and the people doing these things because they need every story of poor care possible to fuel the fire for change.
Thanks, Matt. (Matt is also a graduate student in nonprofit management at the Institute for Public Service, Sawyer Business School, Suffolk University in Boston.)
I encourage everyone reading this to check the above links and to report any stories that you think might help these organizations help others. Every healthcare consumer needs to become aware of and participate in how healthcare is delivered and managed–and I continue to urge patients to be an integral part of their own care. However, it is heartening to know that, at least in the public sector, the trend is toward patient-centered healthcare. Education is of paramount importance to all of us–patients, caregivers, consumers, healthcare professionals, and healthcare staff.
Just yesterday, I had three phone calls from my family doctor’s office after getting conflicting instructions about preparing for my medical-clearance-for-surgery visit scheduled for next Monday. I asked whether I had to fast for the blood work and received opposite answers, depending on whom I spoke with. I’m not taking chances–I’m fasting. Maybe I’ll lose an ounce.
Wouldn’t it be nice to leave so much of what worries us to the professionals so we, the patients, could concentrate on getting–and staying–well?
If you have questions or comments for Matt, please enter them in the “Leave a Comment” area. Or send them to me directly by using the Contact Form, and I’ll forward the information to him.
5 thoughts on “My Current Story, Update: Did I Forget to Mention Teeth? And Public Health? And DentaQuest?”
Thanks for the thought provoking blog, please thank Matt also. I learned in 2003 when I had my heart attack and stent implant that we are our own advocate and when unable need to have one
with us. In my case, my husband, Glenn was paying attention. I had good experiences then and
recently, but like you, had minor oversights occur. We used to consider doctors, gods, and invincible; however, they are not. Their world has turned upside down as well as ours with so
many changes. I consider myself an empowered partner with my doctors, as you are teaching us, Pam. You are great. Hugs, Kathryn
Thanks so much for this positive reinforcement, Kathryn. Matt works at the forefront of public health change–for the better–and I am very proud of what he and his organization are doing. And I’m happy to know that many other people consider themselves partners with their healthcare providers. I started my working life at age 17 working as a secretary for 5 general surgeons–very tough with no training, but I survived. Back then, circa 1970, surgeons were gods. Although I still admire their expertise, skill, and knowledge, as a mature person I recognize that doctors are people with a high level of training. And as Erhan advised me last year, it’s important to know how to enter into a conversation with them. I am learning and am heartened that others are, too. Thanks again and as always for your support. Will let know about your comment, too. Sending a hug back.
Oops . . . dropped Matt’s name out of my sentence above. Will let him know. Thanks again.
How great it is to have Matt help by giving his statements. I am proud of him and all he is working hard for. I had no idea your teeth would be involved. Amazing how your blog is getting all this out to everyone. Congrats, Pam. You are doing a great job.
Thanks, Mom. I’m proud of Matt, too.