Patients are not widgets, yet the healthcare system sometimes treats them like widgets. But no widgets ever stood up after a life-threatening illness to tell their story. E-Patient Dave tells his story, and the story of the e-patient movement, in a book that will take you little more than an hour to read, but it will be an hour well spent.
I was delighted to learn that the e-patient movement goes back as far as The Whole Earth Catalog, a 1960s tome that helped inspire personal computing itself. I learned that the founder of the e-patient movement was a Yale Medical School graduate, "Doc Tom" Ferguson, who went on to publish Medical Self-Care magazine, and appeared on 60 Minutes. Truly a man ahead of his time.
DeBronkart's own story has been told many times, including in HealthLeaders Media. But in 2013, his lessons bear repeating. Last September, I bravely made the first prediction in my first predictions column that there would be a national day of patients calling providers, demanding their medical records.
It hasn't happened yet, but it still should. Meanwhile, we have deBronkart's book, and a rollicking YouTube video inspired by the e-patient movement.