Just a reminder, MEQAPI stands for Monitoring & Evaluation, Quality Assurance, and Process Improvement, and you can visit us at http://www.meqapi.org.
This is a very difficult blog for me to write, and although I have received input from several women on their experience of healthcare, it is still a very alien terrain for me. It is also somewhat presumptuous of me, as a man, to think that I understand what it is like to need, seek, and obtain medical care, as a woman.
So even though I may have great intentions, my experience level is zero, and my insight potentially very thin. But then that gap is partially why it is important for men to think though what it may be like for women to seek care.
Imagine, as a man, what it would be like if there were no physicians in your zip code, or perhaps for several zip codes around you, that treated very immediate, frequent, and serious health concerns that you had. Imagine that for women this was different. Imagine they had plentiful choices of physicians. Picture that the state made very restrictive laws around core features of your health, and that you paid 20% more for your healthcare than women – not because it cost more to treat you, but simply because of your gender.
Imagine that your typical experience was somewhat dismissive, derogatory, and suboptimal.
By all accounts, this is the typical female experience of healthcare in the U.S.
This chat is to talk about what it is like as a woman to go though the healthcare system – to need care, to seek it, to get it (or not), to pay for it, to have a say in it.
- Policy: What is the female experience of the laws, policies, rules, regulations surrounding their healthcare?
- Equipment: What is the female experience of the equipment and devices used in their healthcare?
- Measurement: What is the female viewpoint of the measurement of healthcare safety, timeliness, effectiveness, efficiency, equitibility, patient-centeredness, and accessibility?
- Environment: What is the female experience of their healthcare environment – the location of practices, the waiting rooms, the examination rooms, the transport services, parking, etc.?
- People: What is the female experience of the people in healthcare – the staff, cleaners, clinicians, researchers, public, media, friends, family, etc?
- Materials: What is the female experience of the “medical stuff” they are given – the medications, the instruction sheets, the information, the gowns, sheets, bedding, etc?
MEQAPI focuses on healthcare improvement, and in the spirit of shameless borrowing (and efficiency), takes existing perspectives from the IHI, AHRQ, and others.
To quote the IHI on what the Triple Aim encompasses:
The IHI Triple Aim is a framework developed by the Institute for Healthcare Improvement that describes an approach to optimizing health system performance. It is IHI’s belief that new designs must be developed to simultaneously pursue three dimensions, which we call the “Triple Aim”:
- Improving the patient experience of care (including quality and satisfaction);
- Improving the health of populations; and
- Reducing the per capita cost of health care.
The six domains of care quality (STEEEP) mapped out by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) are foundational to healthcare improvement. All care, and by inference quality measures, should be focused on being Safe, Timely, Effective, Efficient, Equitable, and Patient Centered. We expand this to include Accessibility, STEEEPA.
The MEQAPI tweetchat aims to give voice to a broad range of stakeholders in healthcare improvement, and it embraces everyone from administrators to zoologists, and includes physicians, nurses, researchers, bed czars, cleaners, and yes, patients and care-givers.
The Author and Moderator: Matthew is a principal analyst for healthcare improvement at the Washington D.C. based firm of Whitney, Bradley, and Brown (WBB), and is a strategic adviser and board member at the Blue Faery Liver Cancer Association. Matthew is a peer reviewer for the international journal of Knowledge Management Research and Practice, and blogs regularly for Physician’s Weekly.