Skip to main content

Patient-Centered Care: A Perspective by Amy Berman

“For those of you who haven’t yet heard, I have recently been diagnosed with Stage IV inflammatory breast cancer. This rare form of breast cancer is known for its rapid spread. True to form, it has metastasized to my spine. This means my time is limited. As a nurse, I knew it from the moment I saw a reddened spot on my breast and recognized it for what it was.”
This is the opening paragraph to a deeply moving and powerful blog post written by Amy Berman at Health AGEnda.  Amy's story is compelling, in part because of her perspective both as a patient and as a leader in nursing and geriatrics (she currently is a senior Program Officer at the John A. Hartford Foundation, and was previously the director of the Hartford Institute for Geriatric Nursing at New York University College of Nursing.)

The post chronicles part of her journey through a health care system that is overwhelmingly fixated on survival, often to the detriment of the patients it attempts to care for. It is a system where there is only cursory attention paid to quality of life, and no real attempt to make decisions based on what is important to the patient.  Amy's piece gives us a window into what patients with incurable illnesses must face when they confront such as system, and for that, I thank her.

Amy Berman’s post ends with a call to action - one that I hope we all take:
What about the millions of older Americans facing a terminal illness or chronic disease? How can they possibly stand up to the juggernaut of our health system and say, “No. I want care that focuses on my goals, care that is centered on me.” We need to make it easier for everyone to obtain care that fits their health care goals. How can we change the system and the measurement of quality to place the patient at the center? I call on everyone involved in health care practice and reform efforts to give serious thought about how we can reorient our health care system toward patient-centered care
I encourage you to read the entirety of her post and act on it. At the very least, send it to your loved ones,  send it to your colleagues, and send it to your congressman.


by: Eric Widera

Comments

AccuNurse said…
Thanks for posting this. Our thoughts go out to Amy and her family.
Muriel said…
For an understanding of frailty that emerges from specific cases, see Muriel Gillick's book, "Lifelines: Living Longer, Growing Frail, Taking Heart," published by W.W. Norton in 2001.

From the back cover: "Far more courageous than all the 'anti-aging' books, Lifelines gives me hope that if the worst should come, here is help to be found and meaning to be derived..."
Our doctors are surely focused on quantity of care and not on quality. They surely want their patient's to recover from their illness but are almost not bothered about what the patient wants out of the treatment. Sometimes there is no other way that treatment is forced on people without their consent just to improve their survival.
Since the beneficiary is a nurse she is able to raise so many questions, which the common people cannot event hick of.
Anonymous said…
Great read! I wish you could follow up to this topic

clomid

Popular posts from this blog

Geroscience and it's Impact on the Human Healthspan: A podcast with John Newman

Ok, I'll admit it. When I hear the phrase "the biology of aging" I'm mentally preparing myself to only understand about 5% of what the presenter is going to talk about (that's on a good day).  While I have words like telomeres, sirtuins, or senolytics memorized for the boards, I've never been able to see how this applies to my clinical practice as it always feels so theoretical.  Well, today that changed for me thanks to our podcast interview with John Newman, a "geroscientist" and geriatrician here at UCSF and at the Buck Institute for Research on Aging.

In this podcast, John breaks down what geroscience is and how it impacts how we think about many age-related conditions and diseases. For example, rather than thinking about multimorbidity as the random collection of multiple different clinical problems, we can see it as an expression of the fundamental mechanisms of aging. This means, that rather than treating individuals diseases, targeting …

The Dangers of Fleet Enemas

The dangers of oral sodium phosphate preparations are fairly well known in the medical community. In 2006 the FDA issued it’s first warning that patients taking oral sodium phosphate preparations are at risk for potential for acute kidney injury. Two years later, over-the-counter preparations of these drugs were voluntarily withdrawn by the manufacturers.  Those agents still available by prescription were given black box warnings mainly due to acute phosphate nephropathy that can result in renal failure, especially in older adults. Despite all this talk of oral preparations, little was mentioned about a sodium phosphate preparation that is still available over-the-counter – the Fleet enema.

Why Oral Sodium Phosphate Preparations Are Dangerous 

Before we go into the risks of Fleet enemas, lets spend just a couple sentences on why oral sodium phosphate preparations carry significant risks. First, oral sodium phosphate preparations can cause significant fluid shifts within the colon …

Becoming an Advocate for Older Adults: A Podcast with Joanne Lynn

Geriatricians in the 2030s may be able to prescribe very costly medications for older Medicare beneficiaries who cannot get supper. Most older Americans who live with disabilities will not be able to pay for adequate housing, food, medicine, and personal care. All who serve older adults must shoulder the responsibility to help avert this oncoming suffering and social disruption. The window of opportunity for effective change is already narrow; procrastinating for a decade will be too late.
These are the words of Joanne Lynn, a geriatrician and palliative care physician, who leads Altarum’s work on eldercare. She wrote a recent JAGS editorial titled The “Fierce Urgency of Now”: Geriatrics Professionals Speaking up for Older Adult Care in the United States” which is very much a call to action for those who care for older adults.  We talk with Joanne about this article and some meaningful things clinicians in both geriatrics and palliative care can do to be advocates for a growing popu…