Moving Closer to Patient Centered Care in Yountville, California


I think word has gotten out that I am something of an urban dweller; Susan Edgman-Levitan was nice enough to ask me, “Ted, are you hanging in there?” as we spent several days in Yountville, California at the American Board of Internal Medicine Foundation forum on Achieving Patient-Centered care.

I ended up doing just fine – it’s about the content, not the place, and a scenic jog through the vineyards of Yountville can’t be argued with.

And the content was right up my alley, with thanks to the ABIM Foundation for hosting this discussion. The discussions at the Forum are being compiled by the ABIM Foundation, so I will let them report on that rather than me, but I can share my perceptions of the event here.

First of all, patients and families were involved throughout, as faculty and equal participants. This continues an important precedent in helping health care leaders achieve comfort with this idea.

One of the most powerful moments was Margaret Murphy sharing the story of her son Kevin’s death (You can read more about it here) within the Irish health system. I really appreciated Mrs. Murphy’s use of images in her storytelling – in the future, a presentation without at least 50 % images and a video or two is going to be minimum bar to go in front of an audience. There was discussion about Kevin’s death being the result of diagnostic error. I think that’s true, and I also think that if the family had access to all of his medical information from the beginning, it might have changed the diagnostic approach or caught the fatal series of errors before they happened.

For my part, I presented the following slides in the 10 minutes I had alotted, around the topic of the use of health information technology to put patients, families, and communities in the center of care.

Enjoy (I hope) and thanks to the ABIM Foundation for hosting this discussion and follow-up.

Click on any image to see them larger

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Ted Eytan, MD