It’s Not About The Box Improving Care at Group Health with People, Process and Technology

April 7, 2010

Society of Behavioral Medicine Meeting

Filed under: Electronic Chart,Medical Home,MyGroupHealth — Matt Handley @ 1:40 pm

Fascinating afternoon at the SBM meeting today.  This meeting is bringing together a remarkable collection of people and perspectives. The session that I am presenting  in is jointly sponsored by AMIA, and there are a lot of people interested in Bioinformatics also.  The range of topics is broad – home monitoring, using technology to tailor all kinds of messages, engaging patients with PHRs/shared EHRs, consumer web use, informatics to support behavior change, decision aids for patients with cancer, text messaging – just all over the map.  One thing that I loved was the recognition by this community of the need to cross pollinate, given the range of expertise required to design, implement and research these new innovations.

James Ralston and I presented the Group Health story about patient centered HIT and care redesign.  Whenever I tell the story I get excited – even after hundreds of times.    And I love that James’  research consistently shows the validity of the “Its not about the Box” adage – it is not enough to have technology available – it is only when you attend to people (both patients and clinical teams), process and technology that you get important benefits.

April 6, 2010

How do we get patients to ask more questions?

Filed under: After Visit Summary,Electronic Chart,Safety — Matt Handley @ 10:44 am

While doctors often take pride in how open they are to patient questions, our self assessment doesn’t match up very well with empirical evidence.    A recent post summarizes a small study that is relatively terrifying to me – the take home is that doctors spend very little time explaining their recommendations, and that patients rarely ask questions.

So what would it take to do better?  For me, the good news is that my list for this:

1.  a shared electronic health record that allows patients to access the same information that their care teams use online.

2.  have after visits summaries available both in print and online that summarize the visit and any changes in medicines, referrals, diagnoses, etc.

3.  build processes to reliably develop and document collaborative care plans, and share them with patients.

And all of these are possible now with our EMR and the Shared Heath record that patients can access online.  We are getting better at care plans and look forward to having tools to let patients participate even more actively.

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