Navigating Health Care for Seniors
In the humidity of the South Carolina State Fair, Carolyn Holderman talked about health care with senior citizens. From Medicare Part D to understanding proper medication dosage, there’s a lot to navigate. As a former hospital patient representative, Holderman has a passion for patient-centered care and helping patients know their role in health care.
“It’s important for patients to speak up and be empowered,” said Holderman, now D irector of Higher Education and Medical Education for South Carolina Educational Television (SCETV).
To help empower patients, Holderman and SCETV brought together a broad coalition of statewide organizations to focus on senior citizens. The coalition included government agencies, major medical professional associations, universities, and others.
Together, the coalition developed a series of activities using Remaking American Medicine, a four-part television series designed to inspire and empower viewers and show what transforming the quality of care can mean for patients.
With the coalition partners, SCETV also created and broadcast a local program called Countdown to Better Care: Ten Tips for Patient Safety. Available online, the tips include prevention practices and suggestions like keeping a current list of your medications.
In addition to the tips, each coalition member nominated a “Champion of Change” to honor and celebrate South Carolinians actively addressing the quality of healthcare in the state. At the state fair’s Senior Day, the coalition reached thousands of seniors with important information about managing their own care.
“The goal was to get consumers more interested and empowered to take charge of their health care,” said Melinda Postal, Communications Manager for The Carolinas Center for Medical Excellence (CCME). Working with SCETV magnified the awareness for the project, Postal explained, and helped the partner organizations reach a broader audience than each could have reached alone.
Because of this project and coalition, said Holderman, “Hopefully, senior citizens will be able to take better care of themselves.”