The unifying theme of the Society for Participatory Medicine’s founding member, Danny Sands, is meaningful patient and family engagement
I had a chance to catch up with Danny Sands, MD at the Health Technology Forum in San Francisco. As I said in the video, Danny really needs no introduction. He describes himself, in his LinkedIn profile as “Change Agent, Speaker, Consultant at Intersection of Healthcare, IT, and Business.” Danny does a number of things. He sees patients in a faculty practice primary care clinic at Beth Israel Deaconess, he is a well-known (and excellent) speaker, and he consults. He is also involved with a number of innovative companies. Among them are,
- Seniorlink: the parent company of Caregiver Homes. Caregiver Homes gets paid by states to help family members keep their loved ones out of nursing homes. The family members get training in how to take care of the loved one at home and they get paid a stipend for doing so. Altogether, it provides a win-win solution for people with advanced illnesses, like Alzheimers, that require around the clock care.
- Kinergy Health: this company provides a patient portal that is, are you ready for this, owned and controlled by the patient. The portal is a collaboration platform that comes along with a Kinergy Care Navigator who helps the patient better understand the healthcare system
- Conversa Health: a company that focuses on the care between office visits, providing frequent light touches via its platform, so that providers and patients can communicate and stay up-to-date on what is going on.
Patient and Family Engagement
The common theme of the companies that Danny has chosen to spend his time on is patient and family engagement which is consistent with his role as one of the founders of the Society for Participatory Medicine (S4PM).
The Doctor is a Patient
In addition to being a patient advocate, Danny has also been a patient, having been hospitalized for a serious illness requiring an ICU stay. Listen as he describes what happened. To me, the most important lesson of Danny’s story is that it took a doctor who really listened to Danny and his wife as they recalled in detail what happened before he had the first of many seizures. I won’t tell you the ending here as it is better to hear it from the patient himself.
You can learn more about Danny’s first-hand experience as a seriously ill patient by reading his blog account here.