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We’ve been known to have our minds blown, but this one started as an eye-popper and got better.

A friend writes: “Even the DoD is getting in the act: Patients urged to take charge of their care.”

But holy cow, there was a LOT more behind that headline. Get this.

It started simply enough: “We want patients to ask questions,” said Lauren Nobriga, a nurse and the patient safety officer at U.S Naval Hospital Okinawa. “What are these medications for? What are these tests for? What does my follow-up treatment entail?” The goal is to prevent errors from occurring during medical care, she said.

Well hallelujah!

But then it turns out this is part of national patient safety week – why hadn’t we heard about this?? It gets better:

  • Ask about any concerns.
  • Bring a list to appointments of all current medications, including over-the-counter drugs, herbal remedies and vitamin supplements.
  • Keep copies of all test results and medical treatments.
  • Discuss with medical staff all options involved with hospital care.
  • Understand every aspect of prospective surgeries.

Good heavens, it’s e-patients on the hoof! In the newspaper!

Even more, check out this one page document: The Universal Patient Compact Principles for Partnership. Darn good framework for a participatory attitude!

Hey, here’s a radical proposal: instead of doctors asking patients to sign a gag order, how about a patient and his/her doctor together(!) agreeing to these principles? Wouldn’t that be participatory – even collaborative?