September 18, 2015 (Boston, MA)—Doctors, nurses and patients are uniting October 18-24 to discuss the flaws in the nation’s health care system and demonstrate how individuals can take action to improve health care delivery in the United States. RightCare Action Week (RCAW), is organized by the RightCare Alliance*, an initiative of the Lown Institute.
The RightCare Alliance launched RCAW as a way to draw attention to the need for transformative change in care delivery, especially to reduce the widespread problem of overtreatment (giving patients tests and treatments that they don’t need, which often occurs hand-in-hand with under-treatment). RCAW provides an outlet for individuals to demonstrate their ideas on how to make health care delivery rational, effective, affordable and just.
“We know that both patients and clinicians are dissatisfied with the current health care business- as-usual model, which is not sustainable,” said Vikas Saini, MD, president of the Institute. “Clinicians are rushed, access to health care is still less than ideal, costs are through the roof and too many patients are receiving tests and treatments they don’t need or want—and not getting things that would really help their health. RightCare Action Week is a part of our grassroots movement to transform health care. We need a massive effort to turn the system toward the care patients need,” Saini said.
Regions across the country will take part in RCAW. Local “captains” have volunteered to recruit and organize participants and lead actions in their communities. Several national partner organizations, with more than two million members collectively, have endorsed the effort. They include the American Federation of Teachers, Committee of Interns and Residents, the Institute for Healthcare Improvement’s Open School and the American Medical Student Association.
RCAW is made possible by funding from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.
Health care providers, other health care professionals, as well as patients and other members of the public, are invited to participate by signing up at www.RightCareActionWeek.org. On the site, participants can submit an idea for RCAW, vote on one that’s already posted or add to the discussions on the forum. RCAW activities can take place on a single day or throughout the week.
Sample activities for health care professionals include:
Non-clinicians are also encouraged to host house parties to share their stories or photograph themselves holding signs depicting what right care means to them and tweeting it to @LownInstitute with the hashtag #RCAW.
To learn more about RCAW, or to sign on, go to www.RightCareActionWeek.org.
*The RightCare Alliance is a network of clinicians, patients and community leaders who recognize the epidemic of overuse and underuse in health care and who feel a moral responsibility to act. The Alliance focuses on shifting medicine from “more is better” to the right care for patients. It was born out of the Lown Institute’s 2012 Conference, Avoiding Avoidable Care, the first major medical meeting devoted entirely to understanding the problem of overuse of medical services.
About the Lown Institute
The Lown Institute, a nonprofit, action-driven think tank, is dedicated to transforming the culture of medicine and building a health care system that is affordable, effective, personal and just. The Institute was founded by renowned cardiologist and Nobel Peace Prize recipient, Bernard Lown, MD, and supports his vision for compassionate health care. Visit www.LownInstitute.org and follow us on Twitter at @LownInstitute.
Margie Coloian, MSJ
Director of Communications