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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!!