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This January 12, 2005 interview with Don Berwick, at the Health Affairs web site, underlies the importance of doing all we can to make the “voice of the patient” directly accessible-to the press, health policy planners, government officials, and medical professionals.

Like many of us, Don has now concluded that positive healthcare reform will not come from within the health care system, the medical profession, or the federal government. I think that we are edging closer and closer to a crowing consensus that the only hope for successful healthcare reform lies in understanding and leveraging the e-patient revolution.

There’s a deficiency of will and ambition in the major centers of power in the delivery of health care in America. We do not have a shared aim to raise the bar in performance. That’s the problem

External pressure will be necessary to move the system toward meaningful change.

I don’t care so much what the doctors say. I care what the patients say.

The voice of the patient… the eloquence of the patient to speak up about what they need and want, is so powerful. We haven’t invited patients to speak up enough. [We need to provide] a megaphone for the patients. It’s [all about] storytelling; it’s hearing that this patient was in my hospital and this is what they went through. We need to create a space for patients to talk about things like that. Because, sooner or later, it’s going to be me or my child.


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