More Patient Gateway; East Boston – a vital community, Part I

Dr. Jonathan Wald and myself spent another morning shadowing at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, which is a teaching affiliate of Harvard Medical School. It was a personal honor for me to be paired with David Bates, MD, MSc, whose work I have admired, respected, and used to inform how I serve patients for a long time, in the field of Informatics, Quality and Patient Safety. On this day, David was seeing patients from his own panel, in the capacity of general internist.

Before we started the day, though, Jonathan took me through the halls of the hospital, where there was an exquisite display of portraits of pioneers in the medical field, including Dr. Helen Brook Taussig, the founder of pediatric cardiology, and Dr. Paul Dudley White, who co-described Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome, a staple of every medical student’s education. I think Jonathan and I are of the same mind in thinking that it’s important to reflect on where we came from as we do this work. Before Dr’s Taussig and White, we didn’t know how to manage congenital heart abnormalities or how electricity traveled through the heart, and now we do, because they said, “We don’t know how to do this, yet.” We’ll say the same thing in the application of technology to make care more patient-centered.

After spending time at BWH, I went to East Boston, to visit Frances Kuebler, MD, who is President of the Medical Staff and Physician Champion for East Boston Neighborhood Health Center‘s EpicCare installation. EBNHC is an important part of the East Boston community, and serves a broad diversity of people who rely on the health center almost exclusively. This neighborhood health center is also state of the art technologically, one of the reasons I wanted to visit. I shadowed Stephen Simon, MD, in his practice.

Part I: The Pictures, Part II: The Practices (next post)

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Ted Eytan, MD
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