Whistleblowers in Health Care If we’re going to make health care safer for patients, it pays to have a few more whistleblowers. You probably have you own opinion about whether people like Edward Snowden are heroes for exposing government wrongdoing or traitors for threatening national security. Dr. Goldman believes people like Edward Snowden are heroes for exposing government wrongdoing or traitors for threatening national security. Surprisingly, whistleblowers are quite unusual in health care. Using excerpts of interviews from his radio program White Coat, Black Art, Dr. Brian Goldman explores the need for whistleblowers in health care and examines the reasons why there are so few of them. He brings examples of hospital whistleblowers and what happened to them when they spoke up. He points to the United Kingdom as a shining example of a country that is making health care safer by turning whistleblowing into a virtue. The Secret Language of Doctors Doctors and other health professionals have invented thousands of words, phrases and acronyms that they use to describe patients, everyday situations and colleagues they wish they didn’t have to deal with. Reasons for inventing slang words can create a bond of shared anger or misery among colleagues. Or it can prevent eavesdropping outsiders from understanding what you’re talking about. Slang or argot that is well constructed can be said along hospital corridors and elevators without patients and family members being the wiser. Irreverent, funny and often biting, veteran medical culture watcher Dr. Brian Goldman gives the telling examples of medical slang, where they come from, and what they reveal about the culture of modern medicine. Will Someone Please Invent An App for That? Twenty-first century health care is advanced and cutting edge. At the same time, I think health computing and information technology can be called primitive and user-unfriendly. The same people who gave us surgeons who can transplant faces and hands make health professionals handwrite their notes and make patients use a phone to book appointments and stay in touch with the doctor. Sometimes, it takes someone from outside the world of medicine to show us a better way. Dr. Brian Goldman makes the case that health needs a big disruptive shake-up in health care computing. Using the hackathon approach, Goldman shows how even the most technophobe doctors and nurses can team up with up-and-coming software engineers to invent cutting edge medical apps. He gives examples of software apps that are making things better for health professionals and patients alike. Empathy, Shmempathy Health care is more advanced than ever. Unfortunately, each technological advance takes health professionals further and further away from empathizing with patients. Drawing on examples from his radio show White Coat, Black Art, and his experience as the son of aging parents who were frequent users of modern health care, Goldman talks about the growing lack of empathy in health care, the causes, the impact, and how to put care back into health care. Patient Engagement Until recently, at most Canadian hospitals, they seldom paid any attention to the patient point of view. It’s common among health professionals to think the opinions of patients aren’t worth getting because patients don’t know medicine. Smart hospitals are taking patient complaints and are using them to make health care delivery better. And, they’re involving current and former patients and their families in every aspect of hospital life: from interviewing potential new hires to changing the way the hospital delivers health care. Dr. Brian Goldman explores the problems in health care that can be solved with more input from patients.
AOM | Media Award
Media Award for Health Reporting: Excellence in Health Reporting - Radio