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I Need to Vent



Occupational Therapy


I Need to Vent .

My family is going though a hard time right now. Don’t worry—we are not in crisis or immediate danger, but we are dealing with the fallout of what happens when someone you love dies suddenly. We lost a dear family member because a series of medical professionals were too pressed for time to see and respond to what was right in front of them. Suffering from this loss is painful and frustrating, but I can use the emotional energy to fuel something useful.

I recently read a JAMA Neurology editorial called “The McDonaldization of Medicine”* that elegantly summed up the problems in health care that I believe proved disastrous for my family. I wrote a detailed article about it for fellow OT practitioners, and you are welcome to read it here: http://www.authenticot.com/339-2/.

Today when I sat down to write a piece for Bright Ideas, I realized that I am still ruminating on the “McDonaldization” issue, so I wanted to talk about it with you, too. In a nutshell, the JAMA article described how healthcare is too often designed to meet the same standards that drive fast food production and delivery. The key features of this kind of health care are: efficiency, measurability, predictability, and control by technology. All of these factors have merit and a place in assuring minimal levels of quality and efficiency. It’s just that they have taken over the show, and in so doing have created factory-like care that short-changes both patients and professionals. No doctors, nurses, or therapists have made the personal sacrifices needed to enter into their professions because they wanted to work in these factory-like environments! The only winners here are those who profit financially from cheaper-faster systems.

I created Bright Futures in reaction to the paucity of truly individualized services for people who need help to achieve full, satisfying lives. The current state of health and mental health services in our country is a thorn in my heart. The healthiest way I can deal with it is to provide the kind of OT that I would want everyone (including me and mine) to have.

At Bright Futures we work independently of insurance and big systems, and by so doing we are empowered to treat every person and family as each is best served. We ask about our clients’ hopes, needs and pain, and listen fully. We get to know our clients’ abilities and styles in their actual home and community settings.

We work for and do with our clients, and offer our expertise with humility. We listen to clients’ feedback and make adjustments accordingly. We engage with other care providers to form functional teams that get results. We know our clients and they know us, because we actually interact face-to-face. Sessions are goal-focused but unhurried, and we use every resource and our vast creativity to help clients attain lives that they love and feel proud of.

I’m sorry if this just sounds like a pitch to get you to come in for OT at Bright Futures.  I simply don’t want anyone to feel hopeless and go without because of having had such disappointing outcomes from traditional systems. We are not a program and not a system… we are just two really dedicated and skilled OTs who regularly generate great results for our clients.

If Bright Futures OT sounds like something you’d like to explore for yourself or a loved one, please contact me:

636-399-8910 or <debora@b-futures.com>

(Whew… I feel a lot better now. Thanks for listening!)

*Dorsey, E. R. , Ritzer, G. (2015).Viewpoint: The McDonaldization of medicine. JAMA Neurology, Published online November 16. 2015.