Doctors With Disabilities: Why They’re Important – The New York Times

There’s good reason to believe a more diverse work force — one that includes doctors with disabilities — would be good for patients and doctors. Patients of various backgrounds tend to feel more comfortable with physicians like them, and that’s true for people with disabilities as well.

Source: Doctors With Disabilities: Why They’re Important – The New York Times

More than 20 percent of Americans — nearly 57 million people — live with a disability, including 8 percent of children and 10 percent of nonelderly adults. And while the medical profession is devoted to caring for the ill, often it doesn’t do enough to meet the needs of the disabled.

Read entire article… Doctors With Disabilities- Why They’re Important – NYTimes

 

Dr. Gregory Snyder, a physician at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, has paralysis in his legs after a spinal cord injury during medical school. He uses a wheelchair and says that he’s sometimes mistaken for a patient while working. But that’s not necessarily a bad thing.

“It reminds us that at some point we’ll all be patients,” he said. “And perhaps, when we least expect it.”

Over the course of our lives, most of us will acquire a disability: More than two thirds of Americans over the age of 80 have a motor, sensory or cognitive impairment.

Dr. Snyder remembers the difficulty of adjusting to life as a patient after his accident, and the long road to recovery. But he says his disability and rehabilitation have fundamentally changed the way he cares for patients — for the better.

“I would have been this six-foot-tall, blond-haired, blue-eyed Caucasian doctor standing at the foot of the bed in a white coat,” he said. “Now I’m a guy in a wheelchair sitting right next to my patients. They know I’ve been in that bed just like they have. And I think that means something.”

There’s good reason to believe a more diverse work force — one that includes doctors with disabilities — would be good for patients and doctors. Patients of various backgrounds tend to feel more comfortable with physicians like them, and that’s true for people with disabilities as well.

Lessons from High Performing Hospitals: Achieving Patient and Family-Centered Care

Source: Lessons from High Performing Hospitals

Lessons from High Performing Hospitals: Achieving Patient and Family-Centered Care

Patient-Centered Care In A Nutshell

  • Providers partner with patients to anticipate and satisfy the full range of patient needs and preferences
  • Hospitals support staff in achieving their professional aspirations and personal goals

A Consistent Finding: It’s All About Culture

  • High performing sites credited their HCAHPS success not to specific practices, but to a well-established culture of patient-centered care
  • High performing sites had implemented a comprehensive approach to patient engagement, family involvement and staff engagement
  • Improvement Guide reflects this key finding, providing guidance for implementing practices within a broader framework of organizational culture change

“Bite Sized” Exercises and Discussion Prompts to Reinforce Culture

Source: Planetree.org

“Bite Sized” Exercises and Discussion Prompts to Reinforce Culture

Below is a collection of discussion prompts and exercises designed to engage the hearts and minds of all members of the team in the practice patient-centered transformation effort. These exercises are designed to be concise enough to be incorporated into brief huddles or team meetings. Specifically, these exercises are designed to:

  • Help all members of the team reconnect to the joy of practice
  • Re-sensitize them to the patient experience.
  • Learn specific techniques for connecting with patients, remaining present and delivering care with compassion – even when it is most difficult to do so.
  • It is recommended that exercises like these be regularly incorporated into operations as a means of nurturing an understanding of patient-centered care and the responsibility and opportunity for each member of the care team to embody those values.

Exercises to Understand the Patient Experience

  • Trace the path a patient takes from arrival at the office through to registration to the waiting room to the exam room and to check-out. What do they see? What barriers may then encounter? Is the signage they encounter informative? Does the environment (including the signage) convey warmth and compassion? Trace patients’ steps using a walker and/or a wheelchair. Ask yourselves the same questions. Better yet, do this exercise alongside patient representatives.
  • Pair up with a colleague. Share a brief personal story with your partner (2-3 minutes, does not need to be overly personal). Initially, tell the story with your partner sitting down and you standing up; then both sitting at the same level. Switch roles. Together, identify specific behaviors that created a sense of connection as you shared.
  • Role play a typical patient interaction in your exam rooms. Observe how the set-up of the room either facilitates eye contact and personal connection or inhibits it, specifically in consideration of how you use the EHR. Consider placement of the computer screen, availability and height of chairs, etc. Better yet, complete this exercise alongside patient representatives.
  • Sit in an exam room on the table for 10 minutes, just as a patient would (though they wouldn’t know in advance how long they would be waiting.) Take note of the environment of the exam room. Is there anything to keep you occupied? What can you hear going on outside the room? How does it feel to sit there?