Patient-doctor miscommunication prevails as one of the leading causes of misdiagnoses in America. Historically, problems have risen from the lack of mutual understanding within the patient-doctor relationship and the restricted time that doctors have for a patient in order to successfully provide equal care to all of their patients, often stemming from patient anxiety and inability to elaborate on personal opinions. A research study with orthopedic surgeons reported that 75% of the orthopedic surgeons believed that they communicated satisfactorily with their patients, but only 21% of the orthopedic patients reported satisfactory communication with their physicians, proving that the valuable average of fifteen minutes per visit is not constructively utilized. Additionally, patients are often blindsided to understanding important methods of treatment as a result of psychological shock during both their learning and recall stages. As a result of the time limits and stress of an appointment, patients may forget to adhere to their medication prescription, symptoms to watch out for and repo
rt to the doctor, and/or the date of their next appointment. An unnecessary obstacle like this may lead to delay of treatment or unintended consequences such as misdiagnosis.
The pre/post-checkup app system is not to eliminate the physical communication process, but to provide a more organized and efficient system that alleviates the anxiety faced by patients during their consultations. The system would run a personalized patient log that can be accessed by the health care professional which automatically sends an electronic copy of the patients’ personally updated logs to doctors before they go on rounds, allowing them to answer most questions and concern
s. A more customizable system would permit the patient to update symptoms, medication consumption, or other important events onto a calendar, allowing physicians to make conclusions and further their treatment plans for patients. Additionally, to inform the physician of a patient’s real-time progress, the system would also permit the patient to
utilize media to provide the physician upfront images or videos of the patient’s condition. The physician’s interface allows for access of the patient’s logs and the option to prioritize their tasks by marking symptoms they believe to be urgent or insignificant, and reduce the possibility of inaccuracy of description by a patient or his/her parent. Given any jargon or language barrier, the physician also has the option to simplify any explanation that may be confusing for patient comprehension on the record after visitation, so that the patient can accurately confirm their knowledge of any condition and have the information be stored for future reference.
As described, the system would support physicians to expedite the process of addressing patients’ most urgent questions; with 27% of doctors’ average workdays spent with patients, they are able to drastically reducing the number of avoidable misdiagnoses. A program with both patient and physician use, the app aims to provide personalized patient care that reduces the amount of uncertainty outside of the physician’s office, while forging a mutual bond that connects the physician and the patient on a different level.
DECISION SUPPORT & HOSPITAL MONITORING
Author: Roger Hsieh
Status: Project Concept