There seems to be an inverse relationship between the amount of spin one hears about “the next big thing”…and reality. First it was EMRs and virtual e-visits, then social media, and now patient portals seem poised to be next big thing. The drumbeat of vendors and pundits is unmistakable….physicians that don’t adapt will be toast. It can all sound pretty convincing until you ask to see the evidence. What do patients think?
Take the physician patient portal. If you read between the lines, patient portals are frequently being positioned as the new “front door” to physician practices. By signing on to a secure website patients will have real time access to the electronic health record and will be able to communicate with their physicians by e-mail. Additional patient features include being able to schedule an appointment with their doctor, reading their test results and refilling prescriptions. But despite these features, according to John Moore at Chilmark Research, “nationwide use of patient portals remains at a paltry 6%.”
Ok… so now we know what vendors and pundits think about patient portals. What about patients – what do they think? Read more »
*This blog post was originally published at Mind The Gap*
The patient with a loving family, a job, good insurance and an abnormal test. Terrible.
When they come in, with their abnormal test (a sono in this case) from an outside place, from a doctor who sends them to your ED with ‘you need more tests’, it’s hard to keep the stiff upper lip. The family, well dressed and pleasant, just make it worse. I know what’s coming. I’d encourage them to run for the door, if I thought it’d help.
The sono usually says “…blah blah blah mass in the blah blah…further imaging is recommended…blah“.
While this usually isn’t a true emergency, let’s face it: the patient deserves an answer and their doctor has given up (or in) and has sent them to me. (And it’s not like I don’t know how to order CT’s, I do).
While waiting for the CT you imagine it’s all going to be nothing, unlike the ones before. Very very occasionally it’s good news, and relief all around.
The vast majority of the time that CT has been utterly horrible news for everyone involved. There are tears, and referrals, and ‘…I don’t know for certain, you need a biopsy, because diagnosis leads to prognosis…’ and I feel rotten for about a week. Unlike the family, for whom I’ve just unmasked Death, who get to have him as a constant companion.
I don’t know if it’s because they seem so normal, or I see myself in everyone in the room, or guilt. Dunno. But it’s horrible.
*This blog post was originally published at GruntDoc*