ACMImimi Favorites

Loading...

Monday, May 7, 2012

e-Patient Dave’s PHR


Dave deBronkart (aka, e-Patient Dave) inspired our President and Founder Dr. Ross Martin, MD, MHA, FACMImimi to write this little ditty, which we pitched as a TED Talk submission to this year's TEDMED conference at the Kennedy Center. It would have been the pinnacle of any Medical Informatimusicologist's career to play the Kennedy Center, but sadly, this did not come to pass. So here are the lyrics. You can listen to the demo version of the song by clicking on the ReverbNation box on the right or by visiting Dr. Martin's ReverbNation playlist. The College would be delighted to entertain requests to perform this at a live venue where thousands join in on the chorus.

E-Patient Dave's PHR

This song is called "e-Patient Dave's PHR." It is more or less based on the actual and true story of Dave and his PHR -- which is short for "personal health record" -- and about how Dave came to be known by the name of e-Patient Dave.

All I want is a PHR
Just like e-Patient Dave
All I want is a PHR
Just like e-Patient Dave
All my information
In the right configuration
So I can choose to share it
Anywhere across the nation
All I want is a PHR
Just like e-Patient Dave


Now some of you out there listening to this song who are of a certain age and who may have partaken of certain mind-altering botanicals in your youths will perhaps note that this particular song about Dave and his PHR is somewhat reminiscent of another song about Alice and her restaurant. I cannot tell a lie -- your song association abilities may have been adversely affected by the partaking of those mind-altering botanicals.

Okay, the truth of the matter is that it seemed high time for a revival of that fine song by Mr. Arlo Guthrie seeing as it was so successful in ending the Vietnam War and all. But starting that war all over again just so this song could have a revival seemed a bit excessive. So I figured it would be easier just to find a new cause to sing about and getting folks electronic access to their personal health records seemed about as good a cause as any.

Now some others of you out there listening to this song whose powers of observation have not been adversely affected by the use of certain mind-altering botanicals may have noted that, while the guitar part of this song has repeated unabated, my actual playing of the guitar itself has not. Truth be told, I am using what is known as a "stomp box looper" – that black box sitting there at my feet – and I have recorded a single bar of the guitar part, which is now repeating courtesy of the aforementioned stomp box looper. And having thus freed myself of the burden of playing the guitar, I am able to put my mind to other things… things like the things I am saying to you right now.

It is curious to note that, while I have, over the course of many years of singing and playing the guitar, grown fairly comfortable with singing and playing at the very same time, I have never mastered the art of talking and playing at the very same time, a feat which seems to employ parts of my brain that don't in my experience particularly enjoy working together.

This curious situation is not unlike the situation that Dave -- you remember Dave? This is a song about Dave. And this particular situation of using a stomp box looper so I can focus on talking -- instead of playing and talking -- is very similar to the situation in which Dave found himself back in 2007 when he learned that his body was all full of cancer and that, more than likely, he would be dead within six months.

All of a sudden, he had a whole lot of things to think about -- things like answering the WTF question -- you know, “Where's this from?” -- as in “Where did this cancer in my brain and bones actually start off?” so he could find  the right doctors and the right treatments.  And other things like what he wanted to tell his daughter so she wouldn't hurry up and marry her promising but not-yet-betrothed boyfriend just so her dyin’ Daddy could walk her down the aisle.

Well Dave didn't have a lot of time and he needed the little time he did have to think about and do all the things that only he could think about and do instead of all those things plus all the things that a computer could think about and do at least as well as -- if not better than -- he could do himself. Things like remembering all of his lab values or sharing radiology images with experts hundreds of miles away or keeping track of every single doctor's visit, drug or medical procedure he'd ever had.

And so Dave used his above average intelligence and skills to cobble together a personal health record that he shared with pretty much everybody on the planet through his blogs and tweets.

Because Dave was able to use a computer for all the things a computer does well so he could focus on the things only he could do well, Dave was able to find an infrequently considered treatment that saved his life.

And so Dave lived to tell his story to the world, advocate for the rights of patients to get electronic copies of their personal health data, and walk his daughter down the aisle so she could marry her still promising and now betrothed fiancé.

And somewhere along the way, Dave came to be known as e-Patient Dave. But I didn't come here to talk about Dave -- I came here to talk about getting folks empowered, engaged, equipped and enabled with electronic personal health records as a first step in getting involved in all kinds of groovy things like sending messages to your doctors and connecting with other folks with conditions like your own and taking care of your aging parents back in their own homes instead of sticking ’em in some facility just ’cause they need a little help with their meds and appointments. And the only reason I'm singing you this song today is ’cause you may know someone in a similar situation or perhaps you yourself may be in a similar situation.

And if you're in a situation like that, there's only one thing you should do and that's walk into your doctor's office and sing – ”All I want is a PHR just like e-Patient Dave”-- and walk out.

You know, if just one person does it, they might think he’s a crazed terrorist and they'll send the records so he won’t blow the place up. And if two people do it--two people--in harmony,
they'll think they’re door-to-door missionaries and they'll give 'em their records just to get rid of ’em. And can you, can you imagine fifty people a day walking in and singing a bar of “e-Patient Dave's PHR” and walking out, they'll think it's a revolution. And that's what it is -- “The e-Patient Dave's PHR Revolution” -- and all you have to do to join is sing the chorus the next time it comes around on the guitar.

With feeling. Here it comes now...

All I want is a PHR just like e-Patient Dave
All I want is a PHR just like e-Patient Dave
All my information in the right configuration
So I can choose to share it anywhere across the nation
All I want is a PHR just like e-Patient Dave


Once more, in harmony now...

All I want is a PHR just like e-Patient Dave
(A personal health record)
All I want is a PHR just like e-Patient Dave
All my information in the right configuration
So I can choose to share it anywhere across the nation
All I want is a PHR just like e-Patient Dave


Why don’t you give me my data and I’ll sing you a song

©2012 Ross D. Martin, MD, MHA
The American College of Medical Informatimusicology

2 comments:

  1. Bravo! A great song that touches the heart. It's nice to know that this song comes from personal experience, it makes the song easier to relate with. Playing or even showing this to patients would cheer them up.

    ReplyDelete