Saturday, 27 July 2013

Kevin Leonard: Patient Activist Pioneer

I heard last week that Kevin Leonard died on July 15. He will be missed, even by people he never met.

In March 2006 I heard about Kevin Leonard and his website I was very excited by his viewpoint as written about in the media and also as laid out in detail in his book called "A Prescription For Patience, A Guide To Improving Our Health Care System" published in 2005. 

He was the first patient I heard who took the role of a "change agent." I bought his book and was inspired enough to keep it in my closest book shelf for the past 7 years.

The post it notes I put in to mark significant ideas are still there. One is on the page where he discusses the influence of the consumer/patient when they do not agree with their doctor, or when they wish to use a different hospital and how it could be improved.

The next passage I marked was about individual patient and health system benefits of electronic patient/health system records and the effect of these accessible records on decision support.  With all of your own records it is much easier to interact with the health system.

The final passage I marked was titled "Prescription Four - Begin the public debate about the specific issues relating to healthcare services." He laid out the issues to encourage this debate under four headings: strategic, tactical, operational and ongoing.

I also found a Toronto Star clipping in the book from 2007 headlined "Doctors out of the techno loop" which shows Canada in a 4 way tie for 11th place (Conference Board of Canada) mainly due to technological backwardness.

Shirley Williams from Social Media Pearls wrote a post called "Rise of the Patient Tribute: Kevin Leonard on Patient Involvement and Destiny". She wrote a tribute, as did Mike Martineau on his eHealth Musings blog.

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