The keynote speakers at this year’s Empathy + Innovation – Patient Experience Summit (#PESummit) once again lived up to the high standards set by previous Summit presenters. They made us laugh, cry, and most importantly, re-examine our perspectives on healthcare.
Patient advocate, Swapna Kakani @SwapnaSpeaks, who survived 65 surgeries, shared her incredible story of perseverance and how being included in her patient journey helped her.
A heartfelt ask of clinicians from advocate @SwapnaSpeaks on behalf of patients everywhere:
💛 Respect me as a collleague. I am part of the equation.
🧡 Ask me what I think and feel.
— Lygeia Ricciardi (@Lygeia) May 14, 2019
Kakani was followed by another powerful speaker, Carrie Davis, Director of Patient Experience at the Hanger Clinic @HangerNews. She used humor to bring attention to the biases and stigma faced by people with prosthetics. Her simple message of “turn into the discomfort” struck a cord when she reminded the audience that the person with the prosthetic has likely experienced extreme shame in their past and by turning away you remind them of it.
We want to be known for who we are, not what we are missing – inspiring patient advocate Carrie Davis. Approach ppl w disabilities w empathetic curiosity. Turn into discomfort. Imagine shame person may have felt in their life. In same moment see disability see person. #PESummit pic.twitter.com/awG34Q1FEL
— Lisa Danielpour (@LisaDani) May 14, 2019
The most impressive keynote was Dr Victor Montori from Mayo Clinic @vmontori who challenged the audience to stop perpetuating the healthcare industrial complex. He asked us to stop treating patients and clinicians as “resources”. He reminded us that “care” should not be “delivered” by a “provider” (like a packaged product).
At #PESummit, @vmontori protests the “industrial healthcare” in which “care” is “delivered” by a “provider” to an “activated patient” to show a “payer” the work is high enough “value” to pay for. But we don’t need to “deliver care,” he says. “Care is already a verb!”
— Mike Miliard (@MikeMiliardHITN) May 14, 2019
He also encouraged us to rethink the burden we place on patients to be involved in their care…when they are not at their best to begin with. He used a slide that illustrated how high the expectations on patients have gotten in recent years.
@vmontori Calls us to provide careful and kind care for all. We must change our language and approach to express love and not create a burden for patients by asking them to take on even more. @kkellyhancock @boissyad #PESummit @roses1800 pic.twitter.com/PvavJ8dYXF
— Lori Kondas (@LLKondas) May 14, 2019
For additional perspective on PESummit, I asked two of my fellow panelists for their impressions.
Grace Cordovano, a board-certified patient advocate and founder of Enlightening Results shared the following:
“There is a significant disconnect between the innovation presented at conferences and the realities patients and their carepartners face boots-on-the-ground. I’m hopeful that the collaboration between HIMSS and Cleveland Clinic’s patient experience Empathy and Innovation Summit will drive changes that result in innovation rooted in empathy. Patients need to be seen as people with a diagnosis or diagnoses, not consumers. They need life-focused solutions that will bring authentic value and help them live their best life, whatever their personal circumstances may be, no matter where they live. That is health 3.0. That is real world personalized medicine.”
Lisa Danielpour, Vice President of the Patient and Family Partnership Council at Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital had this to say:
“As a patient and family advocate, I was touched by the deep commitment to creating a better healthcare future infused with empathy felt throughout the Patient Experience Summit. Inspiring leaders like Dr. Adrienne Boissy, Dr. Tom Mihaljevic and Dr. Victor Montori challenged our thinking to co-design creative solutions and approaches with everyone in the care circle, including medical professionals, patients and families. I loved their emphasis that words matter, to think about how your environment and approaches are perceived by those you touch and hearing moving stories from patient advocates like Swapna Kakani and Carrie Davis emphasizing how important it is to see the whole person and their life goals.”