Monday, November 21, 2011

Becoming a Patient Again for the First Time

When you are a patient, how do you act?  What do you do?  What's changing for patients?

OK, so we all know how to be a patient.  Get sick, get worried that it's not going away or could be serious or could severely impact a chronic disease we already have or alter our life or work activity. Treat it with non-physician strategies.  Call for an appointment.  See the doctor.  Answer questions, get examined, listen to a treatment plan from the doctor, clarify ability to align with the plan, check out, pay co-pay, make next appointment for follow-up of this condition or chronic ones or prevention needs.

Think about how you'd be a patient if time and money were no object.  Think of the circumstances under which you would feel totally satisfied by your health and health care strategies.  Think of modern technology and modern communication.  Imagine how these might fit together to deliver you to your best health and well-being.

What health supports and attitudes would you expect from your healthcare professionals?  How do you want the system to best support your needs?

Do you want email, faxes, texts on your cell phone, Skype, YouTube videos or personal contact to be included in the array of health communication supports for your upgraded patient status?

What data about your health and healthcare do you wish to be shared with others so incentives can be doled our for "quality initiatives" for you, your health care team and others?

When would you like to know about the "end of life" and how your nearness to it determines some of the benefits of the system you are imagining to support your health?

Think on these things and post your comments below, as you wish.

1 comment:

  1. Those are big questions!

    To start, I want copies of all my tests all the time as a matter of routine. Email them to me.

    And patients should be able to audit notes to ensure they accurately reflect the conversation. Too many times the notes are markedly different from the actual visit.

    Complete and total transparency. No more reading things out loud to me because they don't want me to see the entire note. Or turning the screen away so I can't see.

    Email is good. Text is good. Skype is too much to ask I think.

    Listen to the patient. Many of us know something about our bodies. But you already sounds like you do that pretty well--can you pass it on somehow to the rest of medicine?