Thursday, May 21, 2009

NPSF Patient Engagement Day

My heart fills with pride. One of my favorite places to be is at the NPSF congress each year. The staff are warm and welcoming and the same people have been participating for years. It is the difference in being at a large stuffy party or in a smaller cozy atmosphere. I didn’t stay for the entire congress. I am so sad that we are not budgeted for expensive hotels but I was glad to be able to go for the one day. Patient Engagement Day brought together over 30 people of all different backgrounds; patients, families, doctors, nurses, quality care specialists and probably more from all over the country. I travel a lot. This was the first time I was sad to come home.

In a room together we were sharing our information and helping each other grow. A gentleman heard my presentation last year and brought it home to his hospital to get the patients and families going in patient safety. How flattering that he shared my work. Others shared the work their doing in hospitals. Others are trying to get started.

Unfortunately I feel sadness that I had to fly to DC to sit in a room of people with diverse backgrounds and talk about patient safety. On Long Island I fear it may never happen. This was not like a “speech” to this group. This was the real working group like we put together at PULSE but we have no hospital support here. No medical institution has supported our work but now I learn in other parts of the country our work is being shared through others. Some say it is “just New York”. Maybe. But if our goal is to teach patient and family partnership with the healthcare system, why is it demographical? Why isn’t every community ready? I am confident that we can move each health system and hospital forward to engage the patient and family in patient safety. Maybe everywhere but New York?

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