Moderating a Dream Panel at WHIT 5.0

The 5th Annual World Health Care Innovation and Technology Congress (WHIT v.5.0)

A few years ago, I was asked to prepare a presentation for leaders with two simple directives: “Ted, no powerpoint slides, and no talking heads, please.”

My response to that was equally simple: “Okay, then you’ll get to listen to the real boss/CEO/Board, the member.” (recall that Group Health Cooperative is member-governed)

Ever since then I have kept trying to include the patient perspective, and noticing that when it’s included, how compelling it is (see this photograph for proof).

Sometimes, I’ve been told, “Ted, a patient wouldn’t be appropriate for this setting.” But I still kept asking….

This time I wasn’t told that, and so I get to bring that perspective in the form of great people. They are Dave deBronkart, Regina Holliday, and Holly Potter.

Our session is in the section entitled “Consumer Connectivity: Engagement Through Social Networking,” and the title of our discussion is, “Beyond the PHR: Promoting participation at all levels: internal and external; patient, family, community.”

Holly is representing the health system perspective, though her work as Vice President of Public Relations and National Stakeholder Management for Kaiser Permanente.

What they have in common, is that they show how sometimes, your life can change, literally overnight, and social media tools are means to teach and learn from people “just like me,” to make a lasting difference.

Beyond the title, I’ve been asked to summarize what this panel will be about, which I’ll do here, with main points:

  • How does a health system foster broader participation after connecting 3.3 million patients online to their health care teams?
  • What are patients’ expectations for participation in health and health care using social media?
  • How are patients and families leveraging social media to participate in reshaping the system itself?

I haven’t yet run these by Holly, Dave, and Regina, they are to help potential attendees know what the session is about, so there may be edits. Or if you have suggestions, post them in the comments, please.

What I see happen when this perspective is brought in is that people in the audience become less afraid/more confident in taking risks to do what they can to help people. That’s what I want to promote.

The dream part is that I engage organizers of a respected event like this to bring these exceptional experiences directly to their audiences. So, thank you WHIT 5.0, I will do my best not to let you down!

Speaking of exceptional experiences. Here is Regina’s. We’re on at 10:55 am, on Day 2, please come and join us.

Disclosure of material connection: I have not received any compensation for writing this content or moderating this panel; I am an employee of one of the organizations represented on the panel (Kaiser Permanente); I am receiving admission to the event sessions as a speaker.


Ted Eytan, MD