This spring I had the thrill and honor of being invited to speak at the National Library of Medicine in Bethesda, Maryland. Why? Because they actually had a conference about e-patients.
Yes, the U.S. National Library of Medicine, part of the National Institutes of Health, had an e-patient conference.
And they brought all the brass. Here's the inside front cover of the current issue of Medline Plus, their (free) magazine: (click to enlarge)
This was one of several times I found myself crossing paths recently with David Blumenthal. Funny, when he was a doctor at Mass. General I never saw him, but now I see him often.
The most fun was meeting Dr. Lindberg, quoted in the article. In every speech I cite something he said that's quoted in the e-Patient White Paper, about how impossible it is for doctors to keep up with the information explosion:
"If I read two journal articles every night, at the end of a year I'd be 400 years behind."That's one of the most potent quotes to open people's minds to the power of activated, engaged, e-patients. Physicians are overloaded and have thousands of conditions to track; you and I only have our own conditions. They must go wide; we can go deep.
The really fun thing is this: sometimes a skeptic would question Dr. Lindberg's statistic, saying "That's not really true - it's probably different today." Well, now I can say "When I had dinner with Dr. Lindberg this spring, I asked him about that. He said it is different: it's much worse now."
Here's to e-patients - and here's to the amazing realization that these great academics are noticing!