Tuesday, September 7, 2010

The human experience

Clearly defining ways to enhance the human experience in health care is easily avoided. Mainly, because it involves an act of service that’s woven with many layers of human emotion, causing difficulty in knowing where each one stops and starts. Making attempts to explain what the human experience is can be daunting, and discussing it, challenging, because it tends to expose unrefined emotion.

Each of our unique, individual stories writes a different human experience based on the varying paths we walk in life. The human experience for a family involved in a short, one time hospital stay might be very different than the long, multiple hospital stays of a family involved in chronic or rare disease. Appearing to be different, there is a simple truth that is the same for both. Each experience demands a human element that requires mutual respect, understanding and partnership between all parties involved. Be the Change is anchored in that broad spectrum, regardless of how big or small the medical experience, devoted to patients and families seeking high quality health care as well as remaining intact as a family.

I was reminded just recently how difficult it is to integrate emotion with service. A medical provider must maintain a healthy balance between themselves and their work with patients and families. At the same time, they can’t lose sight of the human exchange, which is definitely the intricacy involved in providing the best possible outcome for everyone. A consistent presence and dialog between medical providers, patients and families outside of any medical crisis is how the patient perspective will define and protect the human experience, aiding medical providers in creating a healthy balance not just for themselves but for the patient and family too.

Concepts that speak into the human experience, going beyond mere words, are such things as making outpatient coordinated care a constant priority for every clinic or a daily commitment to consolidating inpatient blood draws for every medical provider. These conceptual ideas are frequently discussed and marketed but far too often don’t consistently match real, tangible action for the patient or even offered as a solution. These are a few of the insights and suggestions that come from personal experience and are a portion of a Be the Change presentation. Our real life experiences attached to medical expertise allows the human experience to impact change and becomes more action than words, providing an outcome we all desire.

Be the Change shows the medical community, my human self and the human qualities of a family that struggled from complicated dynamics of a rare disease. It is emotional, which makes it difficult to talk about, but makes it even more important in the attempt to keep it real, not just a diagnosis, displaying our everyday life experiences which have been altered and changed due to medical experiences. When we are willing to push through the fear of an emotional mess, we inch our way closer to a place where medical experiences are influenced by human experiences, aligned by both the provider and patient perspectives, giving patients and families a real chance in not becoming a statistic.

That combined medical and human experience will be centered by the best of the human heart and mind, giving those who suffered from a lack of humanness, a hero’s capability to Be the Change.

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