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.