It is Okay to Be Angry

February 2, 2018

Anger in healthcare is often justified though usually disparaged.  It is an emotion that is considered “negative” and “uncivil.” In a culture still stuck on positivity and “choosing to be happy” it’s an emotion that is shunned.  People turn away from anger, afraid or disgusted by this unruly emotion. But perhaps we should turn into anger if we really want to change healthcare.

Anger is rightfully feared. Anger can lead to rage. Anger can hurt others. Anger can destroy.

Anger is often suppressed held in until it boils over, erupting and affecting everyone in its wake.

Anger is not pretty.  Anger is hard to confront – no one wants to look directly at it.

Yet anger, like any emotion, needs to be expressed.  Anger is real and valid just as sadness or happiness.

It is okay to be angry.

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Stigma and Borderline Personality Disorder

September 29, 2017

Stigma against those with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) is endemic and rampant in the medical and mental health professionals.  Such stigma is often expressed overtly as well as subtly to patients, impacting their care in dramatic ways.

This stigma needs to stop and it needs to start with not only the public but with providers of all kinds assessing their biases and misunderstandings of this illness and taking responsibility for their actions.

Here I present the research on the most pertinent research surrounding this issue.

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Healthcare Does Not Have a Problem With Silos

August 3, 2017

Healthcare does not have a problem with silos.

In fact, there are no silos in healthcare; there are only boundaries.

If we truly want to change healthcare, we need to break boundaries.

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Customer Service

December 21, 2014

My second real job was working as a cashier at Nordstrom in the Women’s Shoe department (my first job as a sales associate at a small children’s bookstore – Sunnybooks for Kids).  At orientation, Nordstrom taught us a few things that have stuck with me throughout my life since – people are generally telling the truth, customer service is paramount, and treat everyone with dignity.  Lessons that should be applied to healthcare (and life).

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Why EMTALA Still Matters But Isn’t Enough

March 17, 2014

Last week I talked about my experience in the hospital that was Not Meant to Be.  Among the many issues was an overarching theme of access to healthcare.  As I said before, only by the grace of the passage of EMTALA (the Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act) passed in 1986, was I able to get the care I needed.

EMTALA requires Medicare-participating hospitals that offer emergency services to provide medical screening examination and stabilizing treatment for patients with emergency medical conditions regardless of an individual’s ability to pay.  EMTALA is incredibly important for the uninsured, but it isn’t enough. Read the rest of this entry »


Not Meant to Be

March 13, 2014

I don’t believe in the phrase “it was meant to be” or “this is all happening for a reason” because I can’t believe that people are meant to be hurt.  I can’t believe that children are meant to starve to death or women abused.  I do think that when something happens, even though it’s not meant to be, we have an opportunity to create change.

If you follow me on twitter you will see that I’ve been tweeting a lot about my experience with St. David’s HealthCare.  I have never seen or experienced so many medical errors and medical record errors in one person’s case.  What astonishes me aren’t the individual errors alone but the number of errors – a true systems failure where there were inexcusable errors at every single point of care.  Honestly, it is amazing that I am physically okay considering the errors made – the potential that I could have died.  But the mental recovery is ongoing as I process my personal experience and consider how to use the opportunity to ask for change in the medical system. Read the rest of this entry »


Patient-Centered Design: Breaking Boundaries with projekt202

April 14, 2013

Originally posted by me on the Nebular Health Tech blog.

On April 9, 2013, Nebular Health Tech kicked off with it’s first meeting featuring projekt202.  Erin Gilmer started the meeting with an ignite speech introducing the group, why she feels a group like this is important for our community, her personal health challenges, and how together we can break boundaries and create something Nebular.  She handed off the meeting to Aliza Gold and Kijana Knight, user experience designers to talk about their experience “Rethinking the Fertility Patient Journey.”

What is user experience design (also referred to as UX)?   UX refers to all aspects of a user’s experience with a given system, including the interface, graphics, industrial design, and physical interaction.  For instance, the way your phone looks – the way the buttons are pushed and the way things move – UX’ers do that! They study behaviour and how to make technology accessible.

User-centered design is one of the most important aspects for health tech.  In fact, the FDA requires software for medical devices (which may soon include mobile medical apps) to incorporate sound principles of design.  This is where companies like projekt202 come in.

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