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Linda HewittBy Linda Hewitt
First created
Linda HewittBy Linda Hewitt
First created
$1,060
pledged of 2.500 $pledged of 2.500 $ goal
3
backers
0seconds to go
Funding Unsuccessful
The project's funding goal was not reached on Fri, May 4 2018 10:09 PM UTC +00:00

About

WHAT THIS PROJECT AIMS TO DO.  Here's a chance to help an author running out of time add an important layer of research to an upcoming book's analysis of the critical topic of the patient role in health care, one of today's most-pressing issues, one that - sooner or later - affects all of us.

The book is Successful Patient: Step-By-Step Strategies To Get The Health Care You Need. The author is Linda Hewitt, author of American Health Care Today And Its Providers, writer and consultant experienced in researching and communicating health and safety information to large corporate populations, and recent neurosurgery patient. 

The topic to be added is The Money Thing, an account of what to do about some of the common financial issues encountered by patients as they work their way through the increasingly complicated U.S. health-care system.

It's easy to make a wrong turn in the health-care lane.
It's easy to make a wrong turn in the health-care lane.

 WHY THIS PROJECT MATTERS.  You may be wondering why such a book is needed. After all, U.S. health care is, in many ways, among the best in the world. The system's many virtues and the undoubted expertise and commitment of most of its practitioners do not, however, inevitably mean that the patient gets the care that's needed when it's needed.

WHAT THE BOOK AIMS TO DO. The purpose of the book is to give patients a framework within which they can manage those parts of the health-care process that are within their control. 

WHY PATIENTS MAY GET HEALTH CARE THAT'S LESS THAN THE BEST.  For starters, they've entered a Provider Universe in the throes of a revolution caused by an exploding knowledge base, technological advances, changes in ways of delivering care and related reporting requirements,  payer demand for accountability, and reimbursement models that have upended traditional business practices. Patient care may be the primary priority, but providers must incorporate the others as well or go out of business. 

"Nurse Gomez and I will be with you as soon as we finish with these new CMS requirements, Ms. Wyatt."
"Nurse Gomez and I will be with you as soon as we finish with these new CMS requirements, Ms. Wyatt."

Then there's "business as usual" thinking. This is a process known as heuristics generally employed in today's time-pressured environment to diagnose symptoms. The practitioner instinctively defaults to viewing the patient's symptoms through a set of assumptions generated by a combination of the patient's personal characteristics - coupled with environmental factors and tempered by the practitioner's training and experience. Most of the time, this diagnostic approach is correct, but it may sometimes miss the patient's underlying issue. Not everything that looks like a duck, waddles like a duck, and quacks like a duck is a duck.

"Don't worry, Mrs. Drake. We see this sort of thing all the time and know exactly how to handle it."
"Don't worry, Mrs. Drake. We see this sort of thing all the time and know exactly how to handle it."

Then there's medical error. A 2016 report from Johns Hopkins Medicine based on an eight-year study estimates that at least 250,000 patients die annually from medical error. It's widely thought by those studying the issue that this number is grossly underestimated because potential liability makes providers reluctant to admit and report error, particularly if it results in death or serious disability.

"This is a lot more than we usually have to drain, Linda, and it's so clear that I'd swear it was cerebrospinal fluid if that weren't just about impossible."
"This is a lot more than we usually have to drain, Linda, and it's so clear that I'd swear it was cerebrospinal fluid if that weren't just about impossible."

The number of deaths is the tip of the iceberg. Patients who don't die as a result of health care but who are, often unknowingly, victims of competing priorities, "business as usual" thinking, and medical error experience frustration, time lost from work, personal time wasted, money misspent, pain unnecessarily endured, disability caused or pointlessly extended, and a sense of hopelessness that interferes with their ability to handle their medical issue.

Mr. Pendergast begins to feel permanently attached to "his" chair in the doctor's waiting room.
Mr. Pendergast begins to feel permanently attached to "his" chair in the doctor's waiting room.

WHAT CAN PATIENTS DO?  Clearly, we can't on our own do away with competing priorities, end medical error, or stop "business as usual" thinking, but we can use resources within our control to make mistakes and oversight less likely and/or at least realize what's happening sooner and shift gears. That can make all the difference in:  

  • How well and how quickly we recover from our original health issue; and
  • The degree to which we are actively harmed by the health care we are given during diagnosis and treatment. 

It's time to take responsibility for what we can do as patients to improve the care we receive. In taking responsibility, patients aren't trying to compete with health-care providers but rather to enter into a mutually productive relationship where each side gets what it wants and needs: the patient's recovery in a safe and error-free environment.

"Excuse me, nurse, but this form doesn't seem to be about what the doctor says he wants to do to me."
"Excuse me, nurse, but this form doesn't seem to be about what the doctor says he wants to do to me."

WHY "THE MONEY THING" WILL MAKE AN IMPORTANT ADDITION TO SUCCESSFUL PATIENT: STEP-BY-STEP STRATEGIES TO GET THE HEALTH CARE YOU NEED.  The goal of the book is to share with patients and their advocates techniques for using existing tools and resources to improve care as they work their way through the steps typical in the U.S. health-care system.

Adding THE MONEY THING to Successful Patient will make it more useful because worrying about money makes it harder to get well.
Adding THE MONEY THING to Successful Patient will make it more useful because worrying about money makes it harder to get well.

Adding The Money Thing will take the book beyond the purely medical and allow the inclusion of information that will help patients avoid unnecessary financial hassles as they get the care they need. This can relieve some of the stress associated with health care, stress that interferes with recovery.

IT'S COST-EFFECTIVE PERSONAL RISK MANAGEMENT!  At some time or another, all of us will be either patients or advocates for patients. The strategies covered in this book can be savers of money and time, sometimes even life. Having this knowledge on hand can make a bad health event less stressful and more likely to enjoy a successful outcome. Think of it as cost-effective personal risk management!

SUCCESSFUL PATIENT CONTENTS

Part One is an overview of the U.S. health-care system today to explain the environment in which patients are treated. (It's changed a lot in the last few years.) Part Two is a quick look at how to develop a personal strategy to get the care you need within that system and how it actually conducts its processes. 

Spread Mockup from Part One of Successful Patient.
Spread Mockup from Part One of Successful Patient.

Part Three, the heart of the book, incorporates the twelve points at which patients can devise a strategy to deal with just about any sort of medical situation from an infected hangnail to the need for heart stents and with any degree of urgency from a walk-in retail clinic trip involving an irritating symptom to a midnight run to the ER for a life-threatening condition. 

Spread mockup from Part Three of Successful Patient.
Spread mockup from Part Three of Successful Patient.
Spread mockup from Part Three showing the step-by-step approach.
Spread mockup from Part Three showing the step-by-step approach.

Part Four - assuming the funding of this Kickstarter project - will be a look at some of the common financial issues related to health care.

Part Five (now Part Four, before addition of The Money Thing) lists hundreds of information resources.

The Appendices include a short account of the medical experiences that prompted the writing of this book from the perspective of decision points at which I did the right or wrong thing. The book closes with a list of acronyms, for U.S. health care today is an alphabet minefield that must be navigated for the whole thing to make sense.

THE PURPOSE OF THIS KICKSTARTER CAMPAIGN.  The bulk of Successful Patient: Step-By-Step Strategies To Get The Health Care You Need is finished save for the final research and writing needed for the proposed Part Four, The Money Thing, a look at some of the more-common financial issues facing patients. If funded, the new Part Four will be inserted between Part Three. Step By Step and the present Part Four. Information Resources, which will become Part Five. The net proceeds from this Kickstarter funding will be used to subsidize that extra research and writing. Also, as a backer myself of multiple projects, I am familiar with the power of Kickstarter backers as influencers, and any book published today needs all the influencers it can get!

THE REWARDS.  The rewards are simple and project-related to keep costs down and also to keep the focus on the purpose of the book, which is to give patients and potential patients actionable information that will help in the successful navigation of the U.S. health-care system. Below are pictured the items that are included in the rewards tiers. Please note that all rewards ship only to the U.S, and that S&H is included. Also, any applicable phone calls will be within the U.S.

Images of Successful Patient rewards (not to scale).
Images of Successful Patient rewards (not to scale).

Well-Wishers, as well as backers in all reward tiers, receive a Thank You in the Acknowledgments section of Successful Patient

The trade paperback format of Successful Patient will be sent to  Supporter, Communicator, Colleague, and Client backers. The Advance Reader Copy (ARC) - with the special ARC cover (not shown) - of the trade paperback format of Successful Patient will be sent to Team Member backers. The Amazon Kindle format of Successful Patient will be sent to Advocate backers. A five-copy pack of Successful Patient will be sent to Sponsor backers. 

The trade paperback format of American Health Care Today And Its Providers will be sent to Booster backers. The Amazon Kindle format of American Health Care Today And Its Providers will be sent to Sidekick backers. 

The collection of ten medically themed postcards at the upper left of the above image will be sent to Buddy backers. The cards are some of the original cartoons drawn for Successful Patient and would make a great gift for your favorite doctor or nurse, not to mention someone who's been a patient once too often and likes a giggle! 

The opportunity to spend thirty minutes of quality time sharing health-related stories with Successful Patient and American Health Care Today  author Linda Hewitt - represented by the green speech balloon icon at the upper right of the above image - will be awarded Communicator backers. Linda will also acknowledge you in her Authors Guild blog.

If you'd like to share your health-care story so others can learn from your experiences, then you should become a Colleague backer - represented by the white puzzle pieces on a red background at the center bottom of the above image. Linda will call and interview you, write up your story (can't include libelous or salacious material), PDF the story to you, have you vet it for accuracy, make minor revisions, have you vet the final version, and then post the story in a special section of the Successful Patient website.

If you're a U.S. corporate HR or operations decision maker with a need for a corporate video to communicate health or safety issues to your employees, you should check out becoming the sole Client backer - represented by the script binder at the lower right of the above image. Do you, for example, want to motivate employees to use your employer health plan so that both they and the organization maximize value received? Or perhaps you have a safety issue that's become too costly (don't you just hate those OSHA fines, especially when they're applied to multiple locations?). For this Client, Linda will write an original video script. First, she'll interview you and any of your appropriate corporate SMEs about the issue by phone. Next she'll provide three PDF video treatments by email employing different approaches and discuss them with you. When you select the approach you prefer, she'll script a video of from five to 20 minutes in length (according to client need and preference). Once you've read it and given her feedback, she'll do one round of minor revisions, after which she'll both email you a PDF and print and bind five copies of the final script, sending the copies to you via USPS tracked priority mail or FedEx overnight, as you prefer. Her scheduling allows for the process to begin in December. Completion will be in a timely manner but will relate to your needs. Linda has served many roles in the video process and understands the kind of script that can give a client the biggest bang for the buck. Her scripting aims at being both interesting (even funny if that's your preference) and informative, as well as capable of efficient production. She's won many awards for her nonproprietary video work.

SUCCESSFUL PATIENT TIMELINE 

February 2018 - Text and illustrations complete through Part Three, also for Part Five.

March 2018 - Design & illustration complete for postcard collection. Initial design for trade paperback approved.

April 2018 - Kickstarter

May 2018 - Funds collected & Kindle emails and shipping addresses verified, along with phone numbers for rewards requiring phone calls. American Health Care Today And Its Providers Amazon Kindle ebook emailed Sidekick backers.

June 2018 - Research complete for Part Four. Postcard collection for  Buddy backers mailed.

July 2018 - Text and illustrations complete for Part Four. Design of trade paperback finalized. 

August 2018 - Phone calls to Communicator backers. Printing & mailing of Advance Reader Copies of Successful Patient Team Member backers.

September 2018 - Interview Colleague backers for story to be featured on Successful Patient website.

October 2018 - Trade paperbacks printed for both Successful Patient & American Health Care Today. Design of Successful Patient ebook finalized. Colleague backer stories posted to Successful Patient website.

November 2018 - Kindle Successful Patient ebooks emailed to Advocate backers. Successful Patient trade paperbacks mailed to Supporter backers and Early-Bird backers.  American Health Care Today trade paperbacks mailed to Booster backers.

December 2018 - Initial discussion with Client backer to begin research & set rest of schedule for research, three (3) treatments,and original video script,

 PROJECT-RELATED LINKS YOU MIGHT WISH TO CHECK OUT

Risks and challenges

A NOTE ABOUT RISKS AND CHALLENGES FROM AUTHOR LINDA HEWITT

Successful Patient: Step-By-Step Strategies To Get The Health Care You Need is basically complete. Parts One, Two, Three, and Five are complete, text and illustrations. Part Four is begun and awaits research completion and writing, which will be complete no later than the middle of June. American Health Care Today And Its Providers is complete. Postcard design is complete and ready to print. You can see the scheduling on the other rewards, above in the REWARDS section of the Project Description.

My husband Robert and I are the sole creators of the project, dealing with familiar vendors. I am a professional writer with many books published, both under my own and pen names. Robert, the illustrator of all the books shown as rewards (as well as the cartoons drawn especially for this Kickstarter ABOUT section), is a professional designer and illustrator. Our company handled many large, multi-faceted communications projects for Fortune 50 corporations, never missing a deadline. We anticipate no difficulty with either the production or fulfillment of these materials. Should we experience any unanticipated difficulty, we will post an immediate update.

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    Pledge $5 or more About $5

    Well-Wisher

    Linda will tweet her thanks to you for your support of better health-care communication. She will also offer her permanent thanks by listing your name on the "Thank You" page in the acknowledgments section of Successful Patient.

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    Advocate

    Amazon Kindle ebook format of Successful Patient (requires Amazon email). Plus, you'll receive Linda's thanks as described in the Well-Wisher reward tier.

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    Sidekick

    Amazon Kindle ebook format of American Health Care Today And Its Providers (requires Amazon email). Plus, you'll receive Linda's thanks as described in the Well-Wisher reward tier.

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    Buddy

    Ten 4"x6" humorous black & white postcards featuring original cartoons created for Successful Patient. Plus, you'll receive Linda's thanks as described in the Well-Wisher reward tier.

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    Booster

    Trade paperback format of American Health Care Today And Its Providers. Plus, you'll receive Linda's thanks as described in the Well-Wisher reward tier.

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    Team Member

    Advance Reader Copy (ARC) of Successful Patient: Step-By-Step Strategies To Get The Health Care You Need trade paperback, with special ARC cover and survey. Also, you'll be acknowledged in author Linda Hewitt's Authors Guild page. Plus, you'll receive Linda's thanks as described in the Well-Wisher reward tier.

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    Supporter

    Trade paperback format of Successful Patient: Step-By-Step Strategies To Get The Health Care You Need. Plus, you'll receive Linda's thanks as described in the Well-Wisher Reward tier.

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    Sponsor

    Five-copy (5) pack of Successful Patient:Step-By-Step Strategies To Get The Health Care You Need trade paperback. Plus, you'll receive Linda's thanks as described in the Well-Wisher reward tier for up to five names.

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    Communicator

    One-on-one 30-minute telephone chat within the U.S. with author Linda Hewitt to talk about health-care issues. Also - you'll receive an autographed trade-paperback copy of the book. Also - if you like (you'll be asked) - you'll be acknowledged in Linda's Authors Guild blog. Plus, you'll receive Linda's thanks as described in the Well-Wisher reward tier.

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    Colleague

    Share your U.S. health-care story so others can learn from your experiences. Linda will call and interview you (within the U.S.), write up your story (can't include libelous or salacious material), have you vet it via email for accuracy, then post it in a special section on the Successful Patient website. Plus, you'll receive an autographed trade-paperback copy of the book. Plus, you'll receive Linda's thanks as described in the Well-Wisher reward tier.

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    Client

    Linda will write an original video script for your organization about either health or safety. For example, you might want to motivate employees to use your employer health plan so that both they and the organization maximize value received. Or perhaps you have a safety issue that's become too costly (don't you just hate those OSHA fines, especially for multiple locations?). First, Linda will interview you and your Subject Matter Experts about the issue by phone. Next, she'll provide three PDF video treatments by email employing different approaches and discuss them with you. When you select the approach you prefer, she'll script a video of up to roughly 20 minutes in length and send you a PDF by email. Once you've read it and given her feedback, she'll do one round of minor revisions, after which she'll both email you a PDF and print five copies of the final version of the script for your use, sending it to you via USPS tracked priority mail. Linda's scheduling allows for the process to begin in December. Completion will be in a timely manner, but will depend on your needs. Plus, you'll receive five autographed trade-paperback copies of the book. Plus, you'll receive Linda's thanks as described in the Well-Wisher reward tier.

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Funding period

- (30 days)