The Importance Of Making Sense Of Things That Have Become Nonsensical

By: Marlene Wust-Smith, M.D., Pediatrician
Nov 12, 2021
Tags: News
Tags: Culture
Tags: Tech

There are LOTS of things in this world that make the average person stop and scratch their head to wonder… "why exactly are we doing things this way?"

We all know that Electronic Health Records have made patients’ health records legible and readable--the days of illegible, one or two line patient notes written in doctors’ hieroglyphic “chicken scratch” penmanship are a thing of the past. As aptly described by Dr. Fred Pelzman, who writes often for, electronic medical records were supposed to make our lives easier, communicate our thoughts in the moment of taking care of our patients, and leave a record that would help to make sure the next person taking up the care of that patient knows what came before.

But...the exact OPPOSITE is the net result across our nation. Electronic health records are one of the most commonly cited contributing factors that are thought to be a root cause of physician burn-out. Most Electronic Health Records produce a document that is very lengthy and detailed, but the resultant “note bloat” actually makes it more difficult to decipher what is going on with the patient.

Does that make sense??!! Of course, not.

We need sense-making in medicine and at Physician Outlook we are fortunate to be partnering with Let’s Rethink This, whose mission is to build and connect communities of like-minded individuals and organizations devoted to rethinking solutions to today’s biggest challenges. Through LRT I “met” a bright young entrepreneur and film-maker, Kistien Monkhouse, who is one of these ‘sense-making’ individuals.

Kistein Monkhouse, MPA, Founder of Patient Orator

Monkhouse is the creator of Patient Orator, an easy-to-use ”app” that helps ALL patients get equal medical treatment and facilitates care collaboration for patients,caregivers and he entire medical team AND she is also a film producer.

Humanizing Health Care is a narrativedriven emotionally paced documentary produced by Kistien Monkhouse about healthcare experiences in the U.S. The film explores deeply rooted systemic issues across the healthcare ecosystem and the barriers they present to people at each touchpoint in care delivery. By learning the history of institutionalized healthcare delivery, we can re-think how ALL Americans can work together to truly humanize healthcare.

Use code PatientOrator to view the film for free, and join us on the Let’s Rethink This platform for group discussions on how we can change physician and patient stories into solutions.

She is a Patient Orator who worked in the front lines of healthcare to help finance her education. While caring for underserved patients she identified a huge problem and came up with a solution. Patients of color from marginalized communities were not getting the same standard of care as other patients.

She is teaching patients (through the app) how to get equal medical treatment, how to record, track and share medical issues and social needs and how to better communicate medical symptoms. She also teaches patients how to get support with managing their health, connect to resources close to where they live, and make care collaboration easy for the patient, their caregiver and for the patient’s medical team.

She has developed a tool that is improving care coordination, empowering the voice of the patient and reducing the documentation burden of the clinician. Frustrated with a healthcare system that consistently placed value on profits above patients, she decided to do something about it.

She founded a company that has created an easy way for patients and providers to have meaningful conversations. Their team of experts have standardized how patients identify their health concerns, care preferences, and social needs. They are aligning social care organizations and medical providers with individuals to improve patient and community engagement, leveraging technology to improve health outcomes.

To learn more about the app, which is currently in development, visit Patient Orator.

Tags: culture, tech

By Contributor:

Marlene Wust-Smith, M.D., Pediatrician

Dr. Marlene Wüst-Smith is the Founder and Publisher of the Physician Outlook Magazine. She graduated from Cornell University in Ithaca NY in 1985, and from Cornell University Medical College in NYC in 1989. She is passionate about restoring the sanctity of the physician-patient relationship and uplifting and amplifying physician voices.

Leave a comment

Please login to leave a comment.

Let's Rethink This is licensed under a Creative Commons (BY-NC) 4.0 License.


Cron Job Starts