Saturday, 9 June 2012

"Facilitated Follow-up"

The Journal of Participatory Medicine recently published an article about a practical issue - patient follow-up. Although focused on the potential for technology to solve the problem, about which I have some reservations, it made clear point.

"The rubber meets the road after someone leaves the doctors office and starting taking the medicine, or implementing the care plan. The key questions people needed to ask shortly after they got home:
How do I implement the program or take my medicine?
Is it working? How would I know?
Am I experiencing any side effects?
What's happening subjectively or objectively in my life?"

As the author points out at the end, access to data is important, but it needs to be supplemented with feedback and continuous feedback too! Shortly after getting home is a difficult time - assimilating all the information from the appointment invariably leads to more questions, which need answers!

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