July 17, 2009, 5:58 pm

From DC to Chi-town to….Vegas?

signWhew! The Better Health “Putting Patients First” medblogger event is over!

I thought it went great, I know I had a blast, even if my legs didn’t stop shaking for thirty minutes after it was over.  I had stage fright, but at least I got to sit down.

This is me in front of the Press Club logo; I have a TON of pictures.  Unfortunately they are either (a) blurry, (b) my eyes are shut or (c) I look fat. This just will not do. I was using my iPhone and Mother Jones had a much better camera…I’ll get some from her!

I’d love to write more except I’m going to have to board my plane in a few minutes. Not to Oakland, though.  To Las Vegas!

They oversold my flight and needed a volunteer to be routed to Oakland through Las Vegas tomorrow.  Oh heck, why not? I am flying alone and had no reason that I had to be home.  Southwest is paying for the hotel and let’s just say I now have enough credit to get hubby and I to at least one Notre Dame home game this year!

Oh, for those of you who weren’t there and wonder what I said, it was something along the lines of “blah blah blah….blah-blah blah..blah blah blah!  At least that is how my memory recorded it. I’ll have to watch the video to remember!

I’ll be posting more, possibly when I get to Vegas….if I can pull myself away from the casino long enough.

Actually, does the Holiday Inn even have a casino?

July 15, 2009, 2:12 pm

WE are the World of Healthcare Reform

maihealthcareOkay, maybe our healthcare system isn’t in the toilet yet.

But it’s pretty clear that if we don’t make some major changes, that is exactly where we will find it.

It doesn’t matter whether you are for a government based system, a market based system, a universal system, a tiered system, or no system at all…everyone agrees that something has got to give.

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thumb_HouseCallDoctor

I love my iTunes, and now I can get Rob Lambert on my iPod!  Yep, our favorite doc at Musings of a Distractible Mind is now the House Call Doctor at Quick and Dirty Tips! His first podcast premiered yesterday, and you can hear it on the site itself, or, better yet, do what I did and subscribe over at iTunes!

(PS, that Quick and Dirty Tips site is fabulous; can’t believe I never saw it until now!)

*****

And more great news from Jenni over at ChronicBabe.com! It’s always been the go-to site for total babes who just happen to have a chronic illness, but now a Chronic Babe Forum is up and running!  It’s new, but groups are already formed, so if you meet the criteria: (a) Babe and (b) dealing with chronic illness, check it out.  Besides, if Jenni’s in da house, you know it’s got to be great!

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There is something that I do not want to see happen in our discussions of healthcare reform, and that is an “us vs. them” mentality.

Because, in reality, there is no “them”.

There is only “us”.

The patients.

*****

Oh, there are those of us who work delivering health care, and those who work in administering health care, but every single one of us is a consumer of health care. We are all “patients”. Some of us may need to utilize the health care system more than others on a regular basis for a chronic illness. Some of us may be thrust unexpectedly into the fray via a life-threatening diagnosis or a life-altering trauma. Some of us go along for years without needing any services except the occasional screening exam/test.

But eventually we all enter the health care system as a patient, some way, some how.

So the groups debating various health care reforms are comprised of patients. 100%.

Ideally, this should mean that it’s not a matter of getting patients involved – folks, if you (a) are a human being and (b) you reside in the United States of America, you are involved. Period.

*****

We all want the same thing.  Equitable health care for every person.

We differ on how we can accomplish that goal.

I say put as much control in the hands of the patients as possible.  Others believe the government is the better steward of the health care dollar.

But let’s remember, as the President said when he gave the commencement speech at Notre Dame last May, we cannot have a dialog if we demonize those who hold views different from our own.  We don’t need to look for common ground, we HAVE common ground in this debate.

I have faith in the ability of the country to come up with a solution.

The needs of the patient will be met.

Our needs will be met.

Because we are the patients and by that very fact alone, we have the power.

And because you know I can’t let this slide without a rock lyric, let me paraphrase John Lennon.

Power to the Patients…

Right on!

July 10, 2009, 6:54 am

Emergiblog Goes to Washington!

128917054432021616Okay, maybe health care reform isn’t that hard to get a handle on.

I made productive use of an unexpected night of insomnia and managed to get a handle on what health care reform is all about.

Health care reform is all about patients.

Meaning it’s all about us.

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It’s about us deciding where and how our health insurance dollars will be spent.

It’s about us deciding which doctors we will see, about us choosing where we will receive our care.

Without a huge bureaucracy telling us when, how, how much or why not.

Which is why, under no circumstances, do I subscribe to the “Medicare for All” premise or a government run health care system.

I never have.

We do not have to go that route.

And we can still cover every single American.

*****

I really am going to Washington!

On July 17th, in Washington, D.C., Better Health is sponsoring a discussion on health care reform.  This discussion will include a panel of bloggers, policy experts, Congressman Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, and will be moderated by Rea Blakey of Discovery Health.

The official topic of the panel is Health Care Reform: Putting Patients First – Elected Officials Join America’s Top Medical Bloggers to Discuss the Real, Clinical Impact of Health Care Reform.

I will be participating as a member of the Specialty Care Panel.

The discussion will be held at the National Press Club, it will be taped and if you are in the area, there is limited seating available. If you would like at attend in person, you can email “john.briley at getbetterhealth dot com”.

Full details can be found in the announcement at Better Health.

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So, what about you?

What do you think health care reform should accomplish?

What are the three most important aspects that should be a part of any health care reform system?

I’ve gotten some great comments on some recent posts, but I really want to hear it.

What do I need to keep in mind when I go back east?

How do we accomplish “putting patients first”?

About Me

My name is Kim, and I'm a nurse in the San Francisco Bay area. I've been a nurse for 33 years; I graduated in 1978 with my ADN. My experience is predominately Emergency and Critical Care, and I have also worked in Psychiatry and Pediatrics. I made the decision to be a nurse back in 1966 at the age of nine...

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