Master of Jurisprudence in Indian Law - University of Tulsa College of Law
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Health | Opinion
Mark Trahant: Transparency and Indian Health Service


"Paul Levy’s Running A Hospital “is a blog started by a CEO of a large Boston hospital to share thoughts about hospitals, medicine, and health care issues.” The postings started as a lark. But when the president and CEO of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center writes openly that sends a message that filters down throughout the system. Other hospital professionals started blogs and more hospital data was posted in real time making transparency a core value.

Dr. Yvette Roubideaux’s director’s blog has the potential to engage the American Indian public the way Levy does with his blog. But it requires a different way of thinking – something that’s rare in government. For example when I talk to Indian Health Service employees for this project they must get permission from either their area office or headquarters before engaging with the media (let alone social media).

Imagine what the Indian Health Service could bring to its patients by embracing openness. Real time information, ranging from data to patient feedback, can help any organization improve results. Quickly. What would happen if every clinic, hospital or any other facility in the Indian health system had its own social media page, complete with patient feedback? What if patients were encouraged to access a computer terminal in the waiting room and post comments on their way in and out of a facility?

Real time information is not scary. It’s a tool for reform."

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Transparency as a tool for reform (Mark Trahant 2/1)

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