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Free lecture - Compassionate care: let patients help
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Visiting US internationally acclaimed patient advocate gives free talk at North Shore Hospital.

When: Monday, October 30, 2017
October 30 from 5-6pm
Where: North Shore Hospital’s Whenua Pupuke Clinical Skills Centre
New Zealand

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Members of the public are invited to attend the free lecture by visiting American author and blogger Dave deBronkart – also known as e-Patient Dave. Download the Invitation with more information on the event and related Map.

The event is part of a continuous drive by the Waitemata DHB to deliver on its organisational promise of best care for everyone and to enhance patient experience and improve outcomes.

Mr deBronkart, 67, was diagnosed with stage IV kidney cancer in 2007 and sought help online after being told he could be dead within 24 weeks.

Hope came in the form of advice offered by other cancer patients through a networking website and he was put in touch with doctors who offered a form of treatment not widely available and, therefore, not often offered up as a viable option by US hospitals.

Today, Mr de Bronkart is alive, well and chair emeritus of the Society for Participatory Medicine which he helped found. He is a full-time public speaker and health advisor who says patients should have ready access to their individual raw medical data in order to play a more effective role in their own healthcare.

Waitemata DHB Patient Safety & Patient Experience Clinical Lead Dr David Grayson says e-Patient Dave is a health IT and social media “rock-star” with 36,000 followers on Twitter alone.

Dr Grayson worked with Revera NZ and Health Informatics NZ to bring Mr deBronkart to New Zealand. He says his story has relevance for everyone and is closely aligned with what the DHB is working to achieve as it links the concept of enhanced patient experience with better health outcomes. “Our aim is to inspire patients to be empowered, enabled and engaged and for healthcare providers to welcome them as partners in care,” he says.

Dr Grayson, an Otorhinolaryngology (ear nose and throat) surgeon, encouraged local patients in a peer support group to form an online community in 2016 and was soon invited to join its ranks at Membership now includes people from all over New Zealand.

“It has been wildly successful and is a great example of people with real experience helping others who are going through the same thing,” Dr Grayson says.

“It is interesting for me to be part of it and it’s been mind-blowing to see how open these people are about their suffering.

“I am exposed to some of it in my work as a clinician but there are other things that don’t even register in a one-on-one doctor-patient environment.

“Being part of this group has greatly influenced my thinking around the importance of listening to patients and working with them as opposed to dealing to them – which is what many of us were once trained to do.”

Waitemata DHB Director of Patient Experience David Price fills a role that was created 18-months ago to make sure patients’ voices are heard in the highest areas of the DHB.

He says participatory medicine is very much linked to the DHB’s organisational values which were put together by staff and patients after extensive consultation a number of years ago and are used daily to guide health care delivery across Waitemata’s two hospitals and various community sites.

“One of our values is Everyone Matters,” he says. “That means working with the community to design a patient-centred health care service that is delivered for the patient rather than to the patient.

“This lecture is very much in line with that aspiration and a good reminder of the need for clinicians and patients to work together.”

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