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Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Open and Transparent

Last week I attended the Adventist Health Physician Leadership Symposium focusing on Quality and Technology in Sacramento, California. It was a lovely conference and I attended and painted the sessions all day on October 18th and the morning of the 19th. I also delivered a keynote speech.

The first painting is "Bursting into Song."
Bursting Into Song
This painting was inspired by the morning session. As the conference began, Scott Reine, Executive VP/COO, Keith Doram, MD, VP, CMO and Steve Margolis, MD, Asst VP, CMIO welcomed all the attendees, but especially the folks representing the rural health facilities. And so the painting began with a sky at dawn painted in swirling tones of red.
Rural Health

On the distant hills rise two barns with two silos. Ever so small doctors walk toward the viewer leaving these hills behind. In the foreground are two other doctors. These doctors are Barry Levy and Ed Schick. The are singing and their hands are raised in supplication or praise. They are singing a musical: Damaged Care: The Musical Comedy About Health Care in America.

I could not believe it, I was attending a medical conference where Doctors where singing about the failings of our current health system. It was beautiful and tragic. I painted them as I would paint the character Curly in the opening stanza of the first musical "Oklahoma." They may be singing about the effects of damage but they are also are singing of hope. They are pointing out the care we could have if we changed our system. Oh, what a beautiful morning that would be.
Dameged Care
The next painting is entitled "CDS." It was inspired by a speech given by Scott Weingarten, MD, MPH from Zynx Health and a following speech by Dr. Eric Hartz, CMIO of Eastern Maine Medical Center. This painting started as three red letters: CDS, the abbreviation for Clinical Decision Support. As Scott began talking about the power of tools such as CDS to help people, the letters CDS became the dancing forms of human beings. The C was a woman with her back arched, The upright stroke of the D, a man looking out at the viewer. The curve of the D as a pregnant mother. Finally the S was another woman in the midst of a spinning dervish.
Scott wanted us to see the people in the picture of medicine. He even showed us a stock photo image in support of ACO's (Accountable Care Organizations) and explained everything that was wrong with the picture. I almost jumped for joy! If you have read my blog, you probably know I despise stock photography and it was delightful to hear a Doctor as upset as I was by unrealistic images.
Blood Transfusion
Later Dr. Hartz spoke in depth about CDS in relation to cancer care. He explained blood transfusion protocol. Now, the painting began to storm with emotion. The blue sky began to fill with purple tornadoes of change. Tornadoes are scary, change is scary. From the questions I heard from the audience, quite a few people were scared of the change to come.
I love tech, but it cannot love us
Within this maelstrom, IV towers with blood transfusion bags dot the landscape. In the center of the painting a cancer patient holds up a lap top with the help of a tree. In the center of the lap top screen is a heart. Within the heart is the symbol for a strong WIFI signal. This image refers to an earlier comment in the day, "We may love technology, but it cannot love us back." No, technology cannot love us, but we can use that tool to show our love for others.

The final painting is called "Open and Transparent."
Open and Transparent
I love this painting. It refers to a term we hear often in Health IT and patient rights. But what does it really mean to be open and transparent? The last speeches I had the honor of hearing were performed by Phil Kibort, MD, CMO Children's Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota and Karen Mathias, RN Director of Simulation Center of Children's Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota.

They spoke lovingly of the pediatric care they provide in Minnesota. They explain their decision to create a bus that would tour the state giving rural hospitals a chance to practice using their crash carts in simulated pediatric care.
The Hole Patient
So within the painting, we see a little girl in surgery. She is not smocked and covered. Instead she is dressed as the little girl she is, so precious to us all. Her chest is open and a transparent rib cage can be seen though her chest cavity as well as the metal table beneath her. She is a child and must treated as one, hence the importance of simulating such care. She is surrounded by five small children preparing to do the surgery. They are play acting with every child focused intently on the game.
Playing Doctor
The little girl looks upon the viewer without judgement. Her face has the solemn countenance of youth. She trusts you. She hopes you will play the game with as great an intensity as she would. And she hopes you will see her as she is, open and transparent.

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