3:05 - 3:50 pmSaturday, September 6
LK 130
Bridging the gap between patients and providers
LK 130
Bridging the gap between patients and providers
ePatient Scholar; Host, Just Talking Podcast
ePatient Scholar; Founder, Chronic Curve
Bon Secours Health System
ePatient Scholar
Medical Student, OHSU
ePatient Scholar; Healthcare Quality & Patient Safety Advocate
A common theme at Medicine X is the patient-provider gap, and the serious need to create more honest, effective, and candid communication between patients and their physicians, pharmacists and clinicians.Patients... Read more


A common theme at Medicine X is the patient-provider gap, and the serious need to create more honest, effective, and candid communication between patients and their physicians, pharmacists and clinicians.

Patients talk on patient-oriented panels about what they want, need, or do not receive from clinicians. Clinicians discuss the struggles they face in a flawed system that sets us all up for poor communication and connection. Medical school students can provide a fresh perspective, proposing ideas on how to better shape and educate future providers and teach empathy and encourage patient engagement to the next generation of providers. We talk about each other, but we have not talked TO each other. At Medicine X 2013, both of us heard this sentiment echoed by multiple providers. We have yet to have all of the stakeholders on the same stage in one 45 minute panel: a seasoned moderator, ePatients, a healthcare student, a physician, and a pharmacist. Our goal is simple: draw the blueprints for the bridge to close the gap, instead of simply talking about drawing them.

What do healthcare providers need from their patients, and what do patients need from their providers? What do they want each other to understand, and what are the different ways for each party to move forward after deciphering core issues What are the issues that have lead a breakdown in the patient-clinician relationship and how do we mend that?

The key to this panel is the dynamic, organic conversation that will grow out of the stakeholders sharing one stage. We want to create an honest dialogue – one that gets to the heart of the issues –that creates a plan for patients and providers in the audience to take home to their communities. The audience and live Q&A from social media outlets will play an integral part in this panel, representing different aspects of the healthcare. From in person and social media engagement, this panel will thrive in actual conversation. The key issues we hope to work on include: creating better communication and breaking down the hierarchical setup in the exam room or at the pharmacy counter; utilizing social media and technology as resources for both patients and providers (how can this serve to improve or create a partnership?), how to reach, engage, and communicate with patients who fall into the digital divide. Naturally, we wish to focus on simple but effective habits, concrete measures, and tools that all stakeholders who watch this panel are able to walk away from Medicine X with.

We understand that this poses a unique opportunity to create the partnership and conversation we wish to see in the exam room, and thus we also understand the need for planning this panel with great thought and care. 

Christopher Snider was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in the fall of 2002 during his freshman year at Virginia Tech. For the next four years he coasted through his diabetes management, likely supported by his pancreas' honeymoon phase.

He didn't join Twitter until 2008, but one of the first people he followed was sharing her experiences with her own diabetes (@sixuntilme). After a few months, he started to pay attention to her blog, then other diabetes blogs, then he started sharing his experiences with diabetes on Twitter. Up until this point, he hadn't known anything about the diabetes community, or the impact it could have on his life.

On January 1, 2009, he started his own diabetes blog. Five years later he is still blogging, sharing the ups and downs of life (sometimes diabetes-related). He actively participates and advocates on behalf of the diabetes community whenever possible—be it Twitter, Tumblr, Facebook, blogging, or even his podcast, he's all about making connections and sharing stories.

Emily Bradley didn't knowingly enter the world of patient advocacy when she started her website, Chronic Curve, back in 2010. What started as a personal outlet has grown into a community for other adults with chronic diseases and chronic pain; specifically types of autoimmune arthritis and auto inflammatory diseases.

Patient advocacy—especially in the context of social media outreach—has really only just started to establish its place in health care. The growth of Chronic Curve has nurtured an incredible passion for improving the doctor-patient relationship and utilizing social media as a tool to connect patients with their clinicians, improve communication, and break through the stigma of chronic pain and chronic pain management. While Emily brings many ideas, a unique perspective, and her own personal experiences to the table, she wants to learn how to better build a bridge between patients and their physicians and grow as a more effective patient advocate.

Emily hopes to share and brainstorm ideas with others; create lasting connections with fellow attendees; better understand the field of patient advocacy and innovation as a whole; and gain fresh perspectives from individuals with far more knowledge and experience than herself. ePatients are far more powerful when they come together for the cause, and it is community that advances awareness, funding, innovation, and ultimately success in improving patient care. She hopes to gain insight into how others work to improve the doctor-patient relationship, how other patients in different advocacy communities are sharing information with their physicians, and gain outside perspectives on patients and issues like chronic pain management and patient care.

Dr. Marc Katz received his combined M.D., M.P.H. from Tulane University School of Medicine in 1981. He completed his internship and Residency in General Surgery at the Medical College of Virginia, then a Fellowship in Cardiothoracic surgery under Dr. Richard Lower (co pioneer of heart transplantation with Norman Shumway). An additional fellowship in pediatric cardiac surgery was next completed at Boston Children’s Hospital. He served as Chief of Cardiothoracic transplantation at the Medical College of Virginia, and subsequently founded the Virginia Transplant Center in Richmond, Virginia. During his career in adult cardiac surgery he performed the first combined Heart-Kidney transplant in the eastern US, the first left ventricular assist device in Virginia, and has been a pioneer in minimally invasive and robotic heart surgery. Dr. Katz currently serves as Chief Medical Officer of the Bon Secours Heart & Vascular Institute, which spans 7 hospitals in central and eastern Virginia and involves more than 50 cardiac physicians. He continues an active practice in adult cardiac surgery specializing in minimally invasive and robotic approaches, plus surgery for congestive heart failure and placement of ventricular assist devices.

Nikki Estanol was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis in 2007 at 17 years old. She felt extremely lonely at that age and very much like this disease was out of her control. It wasn't until recently that she has taken the driver's seat in managing her health, especially through technology and social media.

Nikki has found that social media like Tumblr and Facebook have exemplified the potential for advancing the practice of medicine, improving health and empowering patients to rise to a more active role. For example, the support group she is a part of on Facebook advances her medical care by helping her connect with ePatients all over the world on a personal and immediate level. It's become quite easy to gain information about different treatments, responses, and side effects from the people who deal with them.

Using the "Track Tags" feature on Tumblr, Nikki kept an eye on tags like #rheumatoid arthritis, #arthritis, #chronic illness, and #chronic pain. Doing so has allowed her to connect with different people and get an insight into the more emotional side of things through viewing blogs. That's where she found the support group "My Immune System Hates Me (A Youth Support Group for Rheumatoid Arthritis)."

Differentiating from an in-person support group, this form of technology allows a connection to people all over the world, any time of the day, professional or patient. It improves health by bouncing ideas and information off other people, and can also improve quality of life by having a support group readily available instead of waiting a week to meet. Medicine X is the quintessential conference that pushes boundaries and expands horizons to show the importance of these aspects in a patient's life.

Nikki wants to gain as much knowledge as she can from both medical professionals and ePatients. From the medical professionals that will be at the conference, she would like to learn how they intend to use social media to engage with their patients and what their goals are in doing so. Where do they see this going in the future and - in the sense of "participatory medicine" - how have they (and their patients) benefited from using technology as opposed to manual papers and face-to-face meetings?From the ePatients attending, Nikki wants to be come familiar with how each person utilizes different technologies to manage their own illness under different circumstances. For example, in terms of the design track, she would like to know how they use specific or certain technologies to get around physical or mental hurdles. She also hopes to obtain different perspectives on what ePatients find as the most important element to managing their health via social media and technology: which apps work best for you and which aspects of your health do you wish to more intensely track with that app? How will being engaged in designing different tools help you? How do you use social media to advocate and create awareness for your illness without worrying about the judgment you receive, and how does that differ from face-to-face interaction?

Roheet Kakaday likes to classify himself as a technophile, amateur futurist, and an interdisciplinarian. First and foremost, though, he is a student; specifically, a medical student working towards his MD. 

Roheet's days are usually filled with studying, thought experiments, and bouts of entrepreneurial inspiration. He thrives on brainstorming creative ways of making processes better - in every sense of the word. Lean On - an agency that connects med students to premeds - is his first venture.

Earning a degree in bioengineering with area studies in political science and history from the University of California, San Diego, Roheet now hones his skills at the Oregon Health & Sciences University School of Medicine

His writing has been featured on sites such as KevinMD, Wing of Zock, the official OHSU Student Blog, and more.

Meredith Hurston is a QA Technologist and Patient Safety Data Coordinator for the Department of Pathology at Johns Hopkins. In this role, she coordinates and displays department quality and performance improvement indicators to internal committees and throughout the institution. Meredith also facilitates the department QA workgroup meetings and presents to senior level administrators and providers in the departmental performance improvement meeting. Other responsibilities include review, investigation and analysis of pathology-related patient safety events reported through the health system's electronic event reporting system. She serves as the division liaison to Emergent Action Team Committee and Patient ID Taskforce. Her role also includes monitoring of laboratory compliance with regulatory standards and national patient safety goals through self-inspection. This responsibility includes performing CAP peer inspection of clinical laboratory operations at other Johns Hopkins Medicine entities and outside institutions. Meredith is also currently pursuing Green Belt certification for Lean Sigma.

In addition to her primary role, Meredith concurrently owns M Squared Healthcare Consulting Agency, under which she operates The Empowered Mocha Patient Blog as an online healthcare resource for the African-American Community.

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