Healthcare Media

Podcast: The Patient Engagement Culture War and Health IT

Question: What is unique about the Health IT Marketer Podcast?

Answer: Its primary audience is you — the members of this community. I ask every guest how their topic has to do with health IT. We usually address providers, patients or other audiences along the way, but every episode is first and foremost for the health IT marketer.

This week’s guest: e-Patient Dave deBronkart

e-Patient Dave DeBronkart

This week’s guest on the Health IT Marketer Podcast is the one, the only, “e-Patient Dave” deBronkart, a leading spokesperson for the patient engagement movement.

In this exclusive interview, Dave describes health IT’s role in empowering patients and the ensuing culture war between e-patients and the clinician community, from governments running ads to stop Googling symptoms, to gadget data, to Andy Slavitt’s recent announcement that Meaningful Use as we know it is ending. How must health IT systems envision the patient as an active participant?

e-Patient Dave DeBronkart

What I really enjoyed about interviewing Dave — above and beyond his sense of humor — was how he speaks about patient engagement in such common-sense terms. When he and other advocates can be so informative and clear, it’s no wonder that the culture of health care is evolving.

Here’s what Dave had to say about how the clinician culture is changing:

Cultures evolve when a majority of people say, “This is the right way to do things.”

Another highlight was his response when asked what health IT can do in particular to consider and advance patient engagement. Here is just one of several thoughts he shared:

Think about yourself with your child, your spouse, your elderly parent in crisis, and the sense that you have of, “Is there anything I do to help?” Well, that is a heck of a lot easier if you can look at the data. Please make that possible!

Bonus Question Spoiler Alert!

I ask every guest a bonus question, “If you could join a rock band or music group for a day, who would it be?” Dave gave the Rolling Stones as his answer. But upon further reflection, he later changed his answer to Jimmy Buffett! He is a parrothead at heart!

About e-Patient Dave

Dave deBronkart is a leading spokesperson for the patient engagement movement and a highly rated international keynote speaker and policy advisor. He contributes regularly to the Forbes blog “Let Patients Help,” and his own site, His TED talk “Let Patients Help” for years was in the top half of the most-watched TED Talks of all time that included him showing off some mad rap skills.

He is a survivor of metastasized kidney cancer that likely could have been fatal. But he frequently credits the empowering relationship of his primary care physician Dr. Danny Sands with helping him kick cancer to the curb.

You can reach him at and on Twitter at @epatientdave.

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About the author

Jared Johnson

Jared Johnson

Digital marketing pro, health care communicator, pianist, entrepreneur

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The Healthcare and IT Marketing Community (HITMC) is an extension of the HITMC conference that is the first of its kind event that brings together marketing and PR professionals from throughout the health care community. We strive to provide amazing marketing and PR related content that helps HealthIT companies and healthcare organizations  stand out amidst all the noise of the industry. If you’re looking to market to hospital executives, doctors, practice managers, patients, or other healthcare professionals, you’ve come to the right place. Welcome to the HITMC community!