As a family physician and a hospice and palliative care doctor, I know a lot of ways health care doesn't work. For years I searched for respectful language to illuminate the situations and stories of my patients and other care providers were struggling with. Language that would "explain, not blame”.
When predictable needs are not being predictably met, and the next step available appears to be wasteful, harmful, exceedingly complex, or unclear, you are in “The Gap”.
Language that illuminates a next step leading to a sensible, compelling solution allows interested and able people to move forward on a common concern while they join collaborative conversations to build bridges to clear, compassionate, right actions. from there they are to where they go next.
Language that inspires optimism and invites interested and able individuals to explore collaborative solutions to current “ in the trenches” problems is respectful, descriptive and actionable.
As a case in point, I find that the phrase "Bridging the Gaps in Health care business-as-usual"™ is self-explanatory. Frequently as clients, loved ones and health care provider we all find ourselves "In The Gap".
This weekend I was asked by an out of town family member to assist in making decisions about for long term patient of mine on a ventilator in the ICU of one of a large chain on hospitals here in Atlanta. I used the same language with the my patient’s daughter, with the nurses and physicians and even the hospital liaison and the Chief of Staff.
By language that declares that we are all on the same team, and points to solutions that provide current and future care for our loved ones and ourselves, we are better able to take each situation that arises. This leads to creative ways to Bridge the Gap for the immediate needs, and expand language to include more people into refining a sustainable Client and Community Centered Collaborative Model of Service.
A number of my patients and/or patient family members are co-writing a book of their stories with me: "The Medicine of the Heart”. We hope to share some of the stories with you in the future.
Blessings, and thanks for allowing me to share this recent adventure in creative partnership.