WORCESTER, Mass. -- At the second annual health IT conference that bears his name, Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick shares his personal story of how health IT intersected with his hip replacement a few years ago.
While he humorously tells about how he opted out of "opportunities" to learn about his procedure in intricate detail, Gov. Patrick acknowledged that some patients not only want to but need to participate in their health care. This means supporting a transparent health IT system that yields strong personal health information management to the patients who choose to opt in and become more active.
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Read the full transcript from this video below:
Gov. Patrick on personal health information management
Gov. Deval Patrick: Well, my short answer is, well never mind. My
short answer is kind of, it's very personal to my extraordinary wife who
is the fiercest advocate for her family, for all of us, that you could possibly
imagine. But I think that the health care industry is, I think the medical
experience is daunting to a lot of people. The language is very
technical and specific.
I suppose, on the flip side of it you have doctors now complaining
that patients show up with an ailment and they ask for a specific
drug that they heard on TV. Notwithstanding all the warnings and
indications that are announced in a voice that goes like this, really fast.
I don't, I think there's got to be a way to do this so you don't have to feel
like you need a PhD in order to be an advocate for your own health. And
some of that is not just up to the patient, it's also up to the clinician and
medical professional learning to speak in plain language.
I have not...I've had really personally one significant encounter
with a hospital. I mean, apart from my kids' birth and so on. I had
a hip replaced two years ago. The surgeon who performed the
surgery was actually in the State House today because it's Doctor's
Day in the State House and I had an opportunity to go down and
visit with all the doctors who were there and I acknowledged him
and acknowledged the fact that I was the biggest baby he probably
ever treated. I was just a mess.
He would say, "I can show you a video tape of the procedure
so you can see what you're in for." I don't want to see that! I said,
"Just give me the maximum pain killer allowed by law and if you can,
kick it up a notch so that I have no experience. I just want to be numb."
He said, "You can have an epidural and listen to it." Who does that?
Somebody, somebody here does that but I don't want to do it.
So I guess it's a way of saying I'm not sure that there's a single answer
for how you want to be a patient advocate. Some patients don't
want all that information. They just want to have a sense of confidence
in the care they're getting and then they are to be viewed as a human
being and not the next case or the next file.
Now let me give you one piece of what I think is very important, specific
information. And it's around the transparency point that is often made.
And I think transparency is important. But it's a tool, it's not a solution.
Right now you can find, you can go on the Web and you can compare
the cost of that hip replacement at MGH, where I had it, versus at Milton
Hospital in the town where I live. And you can compare quality indicators
as well. But if the co-pay is the same whether I go down to MGH or to
Milton Hospital, what do I care? I'm just talking as a regular person, right?
What do you care?
So, there's something in the, in how we make our choices, and
it's important to have the data but there's no consequence about
making the choice in favor of a higher cost setting than a lower cost
setting where quality is not the issue. And that's been on my mind too,
we've talked a lot about what that means and how we address that
as we move through payment reform. That's a little afield of your question
but that I think is at least in the mind of the non-technician or expert connect.
Woman Speaker: And remember, you don't know HIT until you've read SearchHealthIT.com.