I didn’t know my lab results nor that I would be asked about them.

This week I visited an acupuncturist for the first time. The acupuncturist asked me about my past medical history as well as my current health. She asked me about when I last had labs drawn and if I knew the results.

I knew I had labs drawn recently, however I had no recollection of what was drawn during my last physical nor what those lab values were as a result.

I had to tell her, ‘I don’t know.’ (I also didn’t know I would be asked about them).

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The Opportunity to Use Technology to Effectively Engage Family & Friends

Promoting patient-provider relationships and patient engagement in one’s own health care delivery are two topics that often come up for current discussion. I believe both are necessary for quality patient health outcomes. However, establishing a patient-provider relationship and engaging the patient are both areas that require continuous efforts from the providers and the patients. We as health care professionals are responsible for educating patients and their families about the patient’s health condition. Yet, the patient (and family) is also responsible for ensuring an understanding of his or her health condition, as well as asking questions to clarify the disseminated information. Read more

“Where’s my sheet?!”
Introducing Know My Patient™

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“Where’s my sheet?!”

Nurses, you know the sheet I’m referring to…you also know the feeling of panic that rushes over you when you can’t find it. “Where did I leave it? I need that to know my patients!” This sheet is a piece of paper that is the nurses’ daily lifeline to knowing their patients.

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I have an idea.

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Hopefully that sentence resonates with you. Everyone has ideas that come to us – all of a sudden – and usually when we are faced with a challenge. Ideas are important because they are the currency for innovating – for developing new solutions to existing problems. Without ideas we would be limited in creativity, change, and improvements in our lives. In health care, ideas have led to new solutions that transform the way we collect, communicate, exchange, analyze, and evaluate information. Yet, we need more ideas that lead to new solutions that can even further improve the structure, process, and outcomes of quality health care delivery.

A few months ago, I was invited to guest lecture to graduate nursing students at Northeastern University about innovation. I asked each student to formulate a problem that they see each day while working and bring it to class. During class we identified each problem and then I asked each nursing student to formulate a potential solution. Every student had a very real problem they are faced with each day at work – some were more complex than others – but we were able to form solutions that were reasonable and achievable with the right support, enthusiasm, and guidance. The nursing students felt empowered to work to address the identified problems. I hope that they did follow up and begin the process toward improving the desired outcomes.

I offer this scenario to encourage others to develop their ideas and foster further innovation in health care. Each day I see new problems that need to be solved. This blog, Know My Voice™ started as an idea. I wanted a way to share my informatics perspective, or voice, with a larger and broader audience than I could physically reach in the same amount of time. I look forward to seeing the future developments and impact of Know My Voice™ over time.