Who is an e-patient?

In a previous post we discussed the basic premise for patient empowerment through self-education. Our society has taken to calling this enlightened health care patron an e-patient. E-patients got this moniker by being actively engaged in their medical care.

Physicians are the experts on protocol, precedent, and best practices, but the patient is the only true expert on what they perceive will work for their individual set of circumstances. As we have all heard, perception is often reality. Meaning that, if the patient doesn’t perceive that they are willing or able to adhere to their health plan, they probably won’t. This essential step of buy-in between the patient and the physician has been undervalued for too long.

It’s a breath of fresh air to see this new population of empowered patients taking the lead on designing and adhering to their individualized care plans. And we’re not the only ones who think so.

  • Stanford University has a yearly MedX conference which supports e-patients. They offer 35 scholarships to attend their (not cheap) conference. MedX also holds regular public video conferences that are topically focused on e-patients.
  • The Pew Research Center has done studies on e-patients with chronic conditions.

Individual e-patients are spreading the word too. Check out this wonderful TEDx talk by “e-Patient Dave”.

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