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

October 30, 2008

It doesn’t take technology to make a difference

Filed under: Quality / Affordability — Tags: — Matt Handley @ 7:47 am

While riding up Capital Hill on a dark, rainy morning I was listening to a medical podcast that is put on by the “InfoPOEMS” group (remember that POEMs is an acronym for “Patient Oriented Evidence that Matters”).  Of all of the articles that I have read in the past year, this one is likely to have the biggest impact on my practice – and it will be the easiest change in practice that I could imagine implementing.  It is not about a new diagnostic test or a new treatment.  It is about something fundamental and absolutely necessary for great care.  All the study tested was the impact of changing our language when wrapping up a visit – many of us ask, with good intent, something like “Is there anything else you would like to address in the visit today?”.  The researchers tested the the impact of changing one word – “anything” to “something”.  Not a big deal.

But – a surprisingly big difference in the visit.  When “anything” changed to “something” patient were much more likely to share a concern.  From the study:

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