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LETTER: Patient involvement critical in care quality


To the editor: Joanne Wojcik's Dec. 6 article, "Patient-centered care fosters safety," shows the importance of patient safety and satisfaction in improving the state of health care in America.

The aging baby boomer generation, increased attention on consumer-driven health care and nursing shortages are putting service and quality pressure on the health care system. Hospitals are turning to technology for the answers, but solutions such as electronic medical records and health spending accounts are not the complete solution to helping the average American become an active participant in their health.

My own experiences as a cancer survivor exposed me to the importance of taking part in your own health care. New, interactive patient care technology at the bedside is helping progressive hospitals directly engage patients by providing valuable patient education, pain assessment/ management, medication teaching, and doctor feedback and interaction that directly contribute to the patient experience. Many of the top hospitals in the country are empowering patients with these tools through bedside television monitors. Patient engagement is a critical component in driving consumers toward better care and ultimately reducing costs.

Michael B. O'Neil Jr.

Founder & Chief Executive Officer

GetWellNetwork Inc.

Bethesda, Md.