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I’m way late in blogging this – too much travel and jet lag – but WOW was our Society’s first conference on October 25 a breakthrough event! Titled ““Participatory Medicine: Transforming the Culture of Care” (web page), it produced a storm of attention on Twitter (our #SPM2017 hashtag had 15 million impressions in 48 hours, 1.1 million per hour during the event!) and a tremendous boost in awareness of our movement. Importantly, new relationships were formed at our event and our table at the Connected Health Conference, to which we were attached. It was a great and exhilarating outcome for our first-ever conference; our partnership with PCHAlliance (Personal Connected Health Alliance) was highly effective for all involved.

In the coming days we’ll be blogging the video of each of the keynote addresses by the truly outstanding speakers who presented to our packed room. Here’s the first: fittingly, it’s OpenNotes – patients and providers sharing the work.

The opening keynote: OpenNotes

The OpenNotes movement is about patients and providers sharing access to “visit notes” – the notes that clinicians type into the computer about patient visits. The movement has the perfect tagline: “Patients and Doctors on the Same Page.” We’ve blogged about it since its beginning in 2010, with dozens of posts since then.

Why is this important? Well, in 2012 the National Academy of Medicine wrote in Best Care at Lower Cost that the future of healthcare requires “Patient-clinician partnerships [with] engaged, empowered patients.” And as SPM chair & co-founder Dr. Danny Sands often says, “How can patients participate if they can’t see what I see?” That’s how important this is.

In our opening keynote, the “father” of OpenNotes, Dr. Tom Delbanco (co-founder with Jan Walker RN MBA) and SPM member Liz Salmi @TheLizArmy share the roots of OpenNotes (going back to a 1998 conference in Salzburg I blogged about), its present, and its future: an exhilarating new project, currently in study, called OurNotes, in which you and your clinician co-author the visit notes. How’s that for participatory medicine? How’s that for transforming the culture of care?

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In keeping with our society’s emphasis on patient-professional partnerships, our conference achieved #PatientsIncluded certification, which (believe me) is not trivial – the criteria require that you really mean it. If our all-volunteer organization can do it at our first-ever conference, we encourage all other conferences to get on board.


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