(click any image to see it larger) This is Anna, she’s 12 years old, and I got to meet her because her mother is Jane Sarasohn-Kahn, author of one of my favorite heatlh care blogs, Health Populi, and came to DC and wondered if I might walk to meet them today, at my favorite Smithsonian museum. Twist my arm on many levels…
Those of you who are parents (or near Anna’s age) might not think this observation is that unique, so excuse my lateness to the game, but look at how Anna is interacting with the art in the museum. When we came to the exhibit she was interested in, she immediately grabbed her cell phone camera and started taking pictures. I asked Jane if she would look at them later and said she absolutely would. “It’s her scrapbook,” Jane said.
Anna goes to a school where she’s required to write a blog post every day, covering her assigned work, with one “free day,” each week, where she and her fellow students can write about whatever they want.
In Anna’s case, instead of passively taking in the art, she immediately begins creating content with it. And this is what she is being trained to do every day at school. What will Anna expect when she is 18 from her health care system? If Anna decides to train to be a physician, what will she expect from the systems (electronic and not) that are set up to enable her to care for patients?
In 2003, it was a pretty amazing thing to have a tethered PHR in place, for patients to see their health information on line. In ushering this new world, I could be heard to say to fellow physicians, “…and patients’ e-mail messages are limited to 3,000 characters, and no attachments!”
It’s very possible that Anna and her cohort won’t be looking to provide and receive care in systems that limit how much content patients can contribute to their health care experience. They may expect just the opposite, and want that the systems that support them help them manage this intelligently.
This example should give us some energy to think about really supporting participation in Health 2.0, the real thing.
With thanks to Jane and Anna for being great teachers, on and off stage. Come back to Washington anytime!