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Nutrition Informatics Blog

Consumer-Centric Care and My Mother

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Time to catch up where I last left off with my mother.  First, a 160 character update…. (what has Twitter done to me?) Anyway—my mother had a troubling heart catheterization, which led to her admission to the hospital, followed by another test the next morning. She was then discharged with no results. Fast-forward 4 days and after persistent calls, my mother was given an appointment--in spite of the office staff saying—“if there was something wrong with your results, they would have called you.”

This is a remarkable story due in part to my mother—a 5-foot 2-inch 100 pound (really!) reserved woman who “doesn’t want to start trouble.” When she finally got an appointment with her doctor, she remained steadfast that while he may have known the results, she didn’t--which did not reassure her adequately.  The physician then ran another test, which was inconclusive, then ordered a different test which he wanted done—the very next day.  “Mom” assures him this will cause angst in the scheduling department, which it did.  Amazingly, she received the test 36 hours later—and the results, delivered in person--by the physician!  Results were not as she expected, so the story continues, with more tests.  This is a great physician—I have met and spoken with him on her behalf—but our culture of delay acceptance does him no justice. 

This, I told my mom, is a great example of consumer engagement—and a fantastic response (eventually) from a physician. Mom couldn’t have said it better:  “Even when the news is not what I expected, all I wanted was to know my situation.” I guess moms do know best.

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