Monday, October 7, 2013

Consumer Reports on Healthcare - Can #HealthIT Fix the Problems

Consumer reports published a Medical Gripes report What bugs you most about your doctor?
We asked 1,000 people about their biggest medical gripes recently

It included the chart "Grip-o-Meter"
What struck me was the number of elements that could be addressed using Healthcare Technology (HealthIT). While technology may not be a panacea it is a tool to help resolve problems, improve efficiency and ease communication and flow of information

For example - "Test Results not communicated fast". In the current day and age of instant communications, mobile phones and messaging why is it patients are left waiting hours, days sometimes weeks to receive a test result. There has been some push back by the medical profession on releasing results without allowing the doctor an opportunity to explain or contact the patient. IN one site they offer this compromise - test results are held for 24 hours maximum to offer the doctor a chance o reach out to the patient but if they have not the results are automatically released anyway.

Given the pressure of time and the challenges we face with resources and the too frequent occurrences of missed communication of results sometimes resulting in poor outcomes it would seem offering an automated results communication tool to all patients would be a simple step in improving satisfaction? If I can get an automated alert when my favorite team is playing, when the score is close capturing a cell phone number when we carry out a test and using this for outbound messaging seems like an obvious step and one that #HealthIT could play a role.

I bet others could see ideas based on the other "Gripes" - send me a note or leave a comment and I'll pull this together into a more detail post