Monday, April 10, 2017

Does you doctor let you set the agenda?

Don't just sit--type!
They did a pilot study at the adult medicine clinic at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle asking patients to use a waiting room computer to type into their own chart what they hoped their visit would accomplish (Annals of Family Medicine).

Both doctors and patients liked this and wanted it to continue, according to the third-year med student at UW Medicine, who honchoed the study.

A UW professor named Joann Elmore, MD, is research director of Open Notes, a national movement to share the notes professionals write with their patients.

Eighty percent of the doctors and patients in this study said setting the agenda helped set priorities.

Other doctors' offices use computers onsite so patients can data-enter their own clipboard.

I see some issues with this. For one, under today's insurance strictures, each encounter is about 15 mins, and often less. I set my own priorities about what to mention and what to ignore. I even had a doctor lean over and try to see my written list and how long it was.

Two, under many federal guidelines, docs are now supposed to bring up certain things such as do you have a gun in the house. Do you feel safe--is anyone abusing you? I even had a doctor--two weeks ago--ask me to spell the word "lunch" backwards--I guess to see if I was senile yet.

And they also push the ever-popular dieting, so-called preventive tests (really early warning tests in almost every instance), and in a flash, your time is up.

I even had a doctor tell me, "Sorry, we can only answer one question..can you make another appt to get the others answered?"

Eyeroll.

I did notice the last appointment I had, there were computers in the waiting room. A fellow patient said she loved those because she could check her email.

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