October 30, 2011
Welcome to the inaugural address of The Empowered Mocha Patient. My goal is to share useful topics that will reduce medical errors, improve health disparities and issues with access to care that are plaguing the mocha patient community. Each week, I will highlight a different issue and over time, you will become a more confident, well-informed patient, and ultimately develop a stronger interactive relationship with your healthcare provider(s) and be an active participant in your decision-making team.
You may be wondering why I developed a passion for helping people become more informed and empowered to make a difference in their own care. Well, for over 20 years I advocated for my Mom, who was a chronically-ill patient in numerous healthcare environments. As a result of navigating the healthcare system with her from my adolescent years, it was natural for me to pursue my education in healthcare. Even though my journey started long ago, there is much work yet to be done in empowering other mocha patients and their advocates to receive safe and effective care.
Recent publications distributed by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) reveal some alarming statistics on the disparities in care among minorities:
- Blacks are more likely than Whites to report poor communication with their doctor or other health care providers.
- Black patients tend to ask fewer questions of their doctors and receive less information than other patients.
- Of the measures studied, nearly 40% of the time, Blacks received worse care than Whites.
At some point, we or our loved ones will rely on the healing hands of a healthcare provider. Let’s get informed to be empowered!
Next week: You Need an Advocate!