In this week’s episode of Healthcare Matters, co-hosts Dr. Robert Popovian and Conner Mertens are joined by special guest, Dr. Shilpa Venkatachalam, Director of Patient-Centered Research Operations and Ethical Oversight at GHLF.
Dr. Venkatachalam’s personal story sheds light on the systemic barriers that hinder patients from accessing crucial vaccines, even when recommended by their health care providers. In this episode, we’ll dig into issues such as state-level regulations, the critical need to expand pharmacist abilities to administer vaccines, difficulties in transferring patient data/information, and the importance of advocating for oneself in the health care system.
Among the highlights in this episode:
02:16: Dr. Venkatachalam delves into the intricacies of her journey with trying to get the Shingrix vaccine as a patient with rheumatoid arthritis, highlighting the system-level barriers patients face, even when vaccines are available
06:30: Dr. Venkatachalam explains the frustration and disbelief of having both the vaccine vial and professionals available but still being unable to get vaccinated, shedding light on the myriad bureaucratic hurdles in the U.S. health system
08:39: Conner empathizes with Dr. Venkatachalam’s story, pointing out how the health care system often makes it more challenging for patients to acquire necessary vaccines, especially in critical situations like Dr. Venkatachalam’s
09:01: Dr. Venkatachalam expands on the emotional and physical toll of not being able to access the vaccine quickly
11:10: Conner and Dr. Popovian discuss potential solutions to ensure patients don’t face the challenges Dr. Venkatachalam went through in accessing preventative care
11:38: Dr. Popovian highlights the broader issue of how state regulations and fragmented patient information contribute to the obstacles faced by patients
15:45: Dr. Popovian highlights the resistance from state medical societies against expanding pharmacists' ability to administer vaccines and how it contrasts with public sentiments about accessibility
19:41: Dr. Popovian emphasizes the importance of data ownership by patients and the challenges posed by data hoarding institutions
20:10: Dr. Venkatachalam offers advice and encouragement, urging listeners not to give up, to advocate loudly, and to reach out to organizations like GHLF for support
22:20: Dr. Popovian shares some final thoughts
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