Introducing the “Collington Patient Voice Network”

The five of us thought folks might like to hear about an interesting development among residents as we engage more with the outside world.

Residents Peter Fielding, Denny Klass, Kay Laughton, Joan Zorza and Richard Zorza are all involved in activities outside Collington in which our role is to present the voices of the patient and family caregiver in improving health care.

Among the things that various of the five of us have done in the last few months are:

This is all happening – and we are having a whale of a time – only because there is a very significant movement within health care to engage and learn from this patient voice. It is related to, but not the same as, the movements to improve outcome measures and to provide incentives for quality of care.

It is important to note that none of this is directly about healthcare at Collington. Efforts here are well known and taking place under the leadership of the Health Services Committee of the Residents Association, the Health Care Working Group of the Board’s Strategic Planning Process, and management. But obviously all of us are learning a lot from our participation in these processes, and some of that comes back to Collington. Similarly, playing these roles lets us tell folks what a wonderful place to live Collington is, as well as what is going on here to improve our health care capacity.

Obviously, we bring very different perspectives. Peter is a surgeon and a caregiver, Denny is a patient, caregiver, and an expert on mourning issues. Kay has been a caregiver to four different people, and has her own health issues. Joan is a patient with Parkinson’s disease, facilitates an education and support group for those with Parkinson’s, Collington, and is a caregiver. Richard is a patient with bone marrow cancer.

The five of us are constantly sharing ideas, and look forward to taking full advantage of all the ideas and experiences that everyone at Collington shares with us.

We hope that Collington can become more and more of a place that state, local, federal and national groups look to as a source of people who can provide input in these kinds of ways. As one of us says, only slightly tongue in cheek, to these gatherings about the potential here. “Collington is full of very smart and still a little bored people.”

We are just so happy that this fits in with so many of the emerging directions in the Strategic Planning Process, with which all of us are involved too.

By the way, one of the ways that you can keep up to date with this patent voice movement is with this new blog site, edited by Richard.

Here are three of us at the Research Agenda Summit: