Power of the Patient Podcast and Why We Revolt

Power of the Patient, a new podcast from "ePatient Dave" deBronkart, sat down with Victor Montori recently to talk about the Patient Revolution and the goal of careful and kind care.

At the start of his book Why We Revolt Dr. Victor Montori of the Mayo Clinic says, “Healthcare has corrupted its mission: it has stopped caring, and I am not going along with it.” He’s sharp – cited in 86,000 medical articles! – yet he’s so, so caring, and truly wants us all (patients and clinicians alike) to demand the chance to give, and get, careful and kind care. 
— Power of the Patient

You can listen to the full discussion between Dave and Victor by clicking this link - it'll take you to the podcast page.  Let us know what you think!

Our Debut #WhyWeRevolt Tweetchat

Last month, the Patient Revolution team took to Twitter to host our first #WhyWeRevolt tweetchat.  We want to get to know the folks who are sharing their stories and engaging in these conversations about moving healthcare to something that is careful and kind, and we kicked off our first chat by taking a look at Victor Montori's book, Why We Revolt.  

Our questions were centered around the language of the book and the discussion online was exciting. We have picked a few of our favorite Tweets in case you missed the chat.  Enjoy the read, and if you'd like to see all of the discussion, take a look at the #WhyWeRevolt hashtag on Twitter.  Our next Tweetchat will be announced soon!  

August 7th Tweetchat!

Thanks to the engaging and inspiring discussion we had last month, we're returning to Twitter on Tuesday, August 7th for our second #WhyWeRevolt Tweetchat.  This edition will take place on August 7th at 6 pm PT / 9 pm ET through Twitter.  Tune into the @patientrev Twitter account for questions on August 7th, and follow the discussion via the hashtag #whywerevolt.

This month, we'll be talking about digital tools and how they help, or hinder, careful and kind care.  There's a lot to unpack there, and we're excited to hear everyone's take.  

We'd love to have you join this discussion, so mark your calendars for August 7th and we'll see you there! 

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Language Matters

Victor Montori's book, Why We Revolt, invites patients and clinicians alike to change not only the way we look at healthcare, but also how we talk about healthcare.  We asked, "Why is this shift in language important?"

Language shapes the way we see, think, and act. Today, industrial healthcare and those seeking to shape it rely on industrial terms and therefore industrial thinking to respond to its problems and to improve. Problems of access, throughput and value don’t reveal the tragedy of people suffering without care that responds to their situation. Efforts to improve efficiency - value by its less glamorous name - drive the need to blur the differences between people  - patients and clinicians - to make them interchangeable, and what they do standardized. Making people a blur makes care generic, ineffective. And ineffective care cannot be efficient. Industrial efforts sound good particularly when the need to spend less is ever more acute.

And yet, profits soar and tax funded safety net programs languish because of austerity and ideology. The problem is greed. And caring must respond to challenges of waste not with efficiency to fuel greed but with elegance that makes solidarity viable. Language matters. We don’t want industrial healthcare. We need careful and kind care. I trust that the actions we will take, the decisions we will make, the debates we will have, and the social compacts we will forge will be dramatically different when lovingly wrapped in the language of care. 

Join us on July 17 on Twitter for our first digital book club about Why We Revolt.  Follow @PatientRev on Twitter for details, and if you need more information on how to participate in a tweetchat, check out this blog post.

July 17th - #WhyWeRevolt Tweetchat!

The Why We Revolt book club is here, and you have a chance to join - to lead! - the discussion real-time.  Our first digital discussion will take place on July 17th at 6 pm PT / 9 pm ET through Twitter.  Tune into the @patientrev Twitter account for questions on July 17th, and follow the discussion via the hashtag #whywerevolt.  

Need to grab a copy of Why We Revolt?  We're proud to say that it's been selected for the Gold Foundation's compassionate clinicians reading list.  Check out this link for details on how to get your copy.  

What's a Tweetchat?  It's a moderated discussion on Twitter, centered around a specific topic and hosted by a discussion leader.  Our Tweetchat will be about Why We Revolt, with a focus on the language we use to talk about healthcare and the power of careful and kind care.  We'll be joined by Why We Revolt author Victor Montori (@vmontori)!

This is our way to take action as individuals and to come together, sharing our stories and rebuilding healthcare in pursuit of a system that is careful and driven by kindness. Continue to watch this space for details on how you can host a book club discussion of your own in your community.!

And if you want to share your story, we're always listening.  

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Threads in Tapestries

This poem was submitted by Jonathan Richards, FRCGP, Visiting Professor of Primary Care, University of South Wales, written in response to reading Why We Revolt.  The Patient Revolution team is grateful to Jonathan for allowing us to share his beautiful words.  

Threads  in  tapestries  
by Jonathan Richards

for  Victor  Montori  

As  I  walked  in  to  the  Department  Store  yesterday  
I  caught  sight  of  a  retired  teacher,  known  for  twenty  years.  
Our  lives  imprinted  one  into  each  other,  life’s  lines  crossed.  
I  will  never  forget  the  boiled  egg  Hodgkin’s  gland  nestling  
in  the  hollow  above  the  collarbone  of  her  young  son.
It  was  the  oncologist  who  saved  his  life,  I  might
have  missed  it  had  I  not  been  paying  enough  attention.  

Within  the  hour  I  visited  another  retired
teacher,  known  for  thirty  years,  for  Home  Communion. 
Memories  came  as  I  drove  away:  her  only  son  
might  have  died  if  I  had  not  checked  his  blood,  in  case. 
I  had  always  feared  missing  Addison’s;  I  always
tested.  His  kidneys  were  failing;  they  were  caught  in  time.  
A  transplant  has  saved  him;  now  a  father  of  three.
Threads  from  the  tapestry  of  my  life  woven  into  
theirs:  mothers,  sons  and  following  generations.  
Yarn  from  their  lives  knotted  into  mine  as  we  passed  by,    
changing  directions,  finding  doors  open  and  new  roads.
A  working  life  of  meeting  people,  touching,  glancing,  
becoming  entangled  for  a  time.  Or  for  ever.
Discontinuous  wefts  compacted  into  patterns.
On  both  sides. 


From Jonathan - I served the people of Merthyr Tydfil, one of the most deprived and unhealthy communities in England and Wales, as a Family Doctor from 1981-2015. I have always had an interest in what happens when people meet with a doctor or nurse. I was a Clinical Director, responsible for quality and service improvements in the National Health Service from 2010-2016.

I have been learning to write poetry and was a Masters in Writing student at the University of South Wales in 2015-2017.

I encountered 'Why We Revolt' and it both stretched my mind and imagination and sang tunes that resonated in my heart. I was especially struck by the metaphor of weaving for the clinician/person relationship. (I prefer not to use the word patient.)

It was in my mind as I arrived at the experiences in this poem and in my mind as the poem arrived a couple of hours later. After putting the words down, I was struck by how ideas from the Primo Levi poem 'To My Friends' had arrived. I have now reconsidered my life's work as a partnership with my friends.

I Screen, You Screen

When you're meeting with your patient, or your clinician, does the computer feel like a blessing or a curse?  With electronic medical records implemented in most practices, the omniscient and ever-present screen can get in the way of productive and meaningful conversation.  A challenge to both patients and clinicians is to retain the human connection during visits while also updating and maintaining the electronic health record.


A recent publication from The Gold Foundation - Turning foe into friend: Leveraging the electronic health record to promote humanism - highlighted a study with strategies to help improve patient/clinician communication while promoting and engaging with technology.  Part of the approach included the HUMAN LEVEL (see table below), which includes suggestions like making the first few minutes of the appointment technology-free, nixing the screen when it comes to discussing sensitive information, and maintaining eye contact.

From Breaking Away from the iPatient to Care for the Real Patient: Implementing a Patient-Centered EMR Use Curriculum,  downloadable here

From Breaking Away from the iPatient to Care for the Real Patient: Implementing a Patient-Centered EMR Use Curriculum, downloadable here

Patients, have you had clinicians that practice these sorts of strategies?  Do you feel like it was helpful?  Clinicians, do you try to follow these kinds of guidelines?  Does it work?  And as a team, would this kind of approach improve communication?

Stepping outside of the intimate interaction between patients and clinicians, what could clinics and hospitals do to achieve some of these HUMAN LEVEL goals?  Is there something that EHR companies could do to contribute?  

We'd love to hear your thoughts.  Email us at submissions@patientrevolution.org or connect through Facebook or Twitter.