Better Health Conference

On June 7th, Jessy DiDio and Soirette Collado attended the Better Health Conference hosted by the CT Partners for Health. This conference covered a vast amount of information regarding social determinants of health, health IT, healthcare reform, and health equity.

Emphasizing the importance of health literacy and assuring that each person is given what they need to succeed is a key factor in the aim to achieve better health.

A major takeaway from this conference was the story behind “Dave and Danny, E-Patient and Doctor”. Dave was diagnosed with stage IV kidney cancer in 2007 which metastasized as tumors in his lungs, several bones, and muscle tissue.  Upon learning that Dave’s median survival time was 24 weeks, both patient and doctor learned to use participatory medicine to beat the odds of Dave’s prognosis. Their story empowers the e-patient movement, which describes patients who are equipped, enabled, empowered and engaged in their health care decisions. In summary, the largest, and least utilized resource is often the patient themselves.

Throughout the course of Dave’s treatment period, he and his Primary Care Provider shared a vision of healthcare as a technology-enabled collaboration. The treatment was driven by patient participation and modern healthcare experience (evidenced-based medicine). They used technology that included: e-mail messaging, web and video conferencing, and participation in an online community that included patients with similar conditions. The online community helped Dave and his PCP benefit from the shared experiences of similar patients and it helped Dave cope with the side effects of his treatment.

SVHP continues to be committed to supporting technological innovations and patient-centered care. Jessy and Soirette recommend the following resources from the conference for those who want to learn more: