What the "E" in E-Patient Really Means

Scott Mace, for HealthLeaders Media , May 28, 2013

Patients are not widgets, yet the healthcare system sometimes treats them like widgets. But no widgets ever stood up after a life-threatening illness to tell their story. E-Patient Dave tells his story, and the story of the e-patient movement, in a book that will take you little more than an hour to read, but it will be an hour well spent.

I was delighted to learn that the e-patient movement goes back as far as The Whole Earth Catalog, a 1960s tome that helped inspire personal computing itself. I learned that the founder of the e-patient movement was a Yale Medical School graduate, "Doc Tom" Ferguson, who went on to publish Medical Self-Care magazine, and appeared on 60 Minutes. Truly a man ahead of his time.

DeBronkart's own story has been told many times, including in HealthLeaders Media. But in 2013, his lessons bear repeating. Last September, I bravely made the first prediction in my first predictions column that there would be a national day of patients calling providers, demanding their medical records.

It hasn't happened yet, but it still should. Meanwhile, we have deBronkart's book, and a rollicking YouTube video inspired by the e-patient movement.

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2 comments on "What the "E" in E-Patient Really Means"


Lori (5/31/2013 at 12:35 AM)
A most excellent article. I have included a link to it in my latest post.

Derek Forman (5/28/2013 at 1:52 PM)
Great article, right to the point, the more informed patients are the the more empowered and engaged they become-all leading to a greater partnership in their care. I just downloaded the E version of "Let Patients Help!" and look forward to a great read!!

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