In a recent blog post for one of our favorite blogging physicians, Kevin Pho, MD, Kent Bottles, MD, discusses patients and physicians in the digital age. He says what many physicians consider “disruptive technologies” may actually be the key to closing the large gap in patient – physician communication. A survey on the doctor / patient relationship, by The Consumer Reports National Research Center, found that patients would get more from doctor office visits if they planned ahead, took notes during the appointments and conducted careful online research for information. Other studies have shown that:
– Patients only remember half of what physicians tell them during their visit.
– 90 percent of patients receiving a new medication reported their physician never described the drug’s side effects.
– 30 percent of patients were unable to name their diagnosis after being discharged.
These statistics are troubling to say the least. Ken Bottles, MD, goes on to comment, “technology, far from being the villainous entities that so many care providers see, can actually improve a patient’s experience and address those disturbing statistics. Websites now provide patients with the tools to prepare for upcoming visits by listening to actual conversations between providers and patients that have the same diagnosis; they can organize their questions before the visit; they can record their visit using digital or mobile recording devices; and they can review the recording after the visit with caregivers and family members to better understand how they can partner with their physician’s advice.”