Published by: Jane Hooker on 10/19/2011 9:09:29 AM
This entry is the second in a series for National Healthcare Quality Week (Oct. 16 - 22), a response to Part One posted the previous day.
Jerod Loeb’s description of his recent experience with the healthcare system is articulate and moving. For me, the most valuable reminder is that regardless of the knowledge and skill of any individual managing a new diagnosis—especially a major life threatening one—the relationship between the patient, family, and clinicians is key. For the ideal decisions to be made and the right treatment plan to be created, everyone must be involved and everyone must understand. I believe the science is as important as the caring part of the plan.
I have been on the website for CaringBridge and read Jerod’s experience, as well as the contributions of others, and have been impressed with the site and the value it seems to have for all involved. One advantage of CaringBridge is its ability to keep family and friends connected during times when communication is needed across miles and time zones. While many of the patients in the safety net may not be able to use the site, because they do not speak English, do not read or have a computer, there are many of our patients who might benefit from using the site. What is more, CaringBridge is value added, because there are no charges to use the site—it provides access to patients and families through donations. Maybe having access to computers set up in outpatient or inpatient oncology units, with CaringBridge as a link, would be one mechanism to provide this support. Alternatively, general information about the website and how to access it could be posted in waiting rooms.
Despite Jerod’s knowledge and experience with health care, when he was faced with a serious disease, what he needed was more than science; what he needed were the personal connections to family and friends—both professional and personal—and CaringBridge was a valuable adjunct to support that need.
During Quality Week, NAPH would like to thank all of you for your clinical expertise and the personal commitment to provide care, as well as compassion and support, to all who come through your doors. We salute your ongoing efforts to improve the care you deliver and the loyalty to provide to those in need.