“Not on the Doctors Checklist, but Touch Matters” is a contribution to the New York Times written by Danielle Ofri MD that discusses “why a doctor’s visit never feels complete without a physical exam”.
To me the article succinctly documents the inefficiencies that exist with uninformed Doctor consultations:
“A new patient comes to my office, a healthy middle-aged woman. The medical assistant has already documented her normal blood pressure. Of our allotted 15 minutes, I spend more than two-thirds talking with her. I ask about her personal medical history, her family medical history. I inquire about her lifestyle: what kind of work she does, whether she smokes, how much she exercises, whether she eats five servings of fruits and vegetables each day. I review her “health maintenance”: whether she’s up to date with her mammogram, Pap smear, vaccinations. I press into the remaining minutes, counseling about calcium, sunscreen, seat belts. I screen for depression, domestic violence. I remind her about flu shots and colonoscopies. I pull out brochures about healthy diet and exercise, and we talk about ways to squeeze in exercise during her sedentary job.
And then I compliment myself on a job well done. I’ve covered all the relevant screening topics. I’ve touched all the bases of preventative medicine for a healthy woman. And I’ve even managed to finish on time, so I won’t have to keep the next patient waiting”
What if someone invented an interactive tool that could enable patients to take their own time giving this information to their Doctor in a standardised/familiar format prior to their consultation?
As a Doctor imagine how much more efficient it would be to consult with patients if you knew all these precautionary questions had been asked and you could see the answers and do your research and prepare yourself before you met with your patient? Think of the other things you could do in your consultations if you freed up the time you spent asking the same set of routine questions?
Welcome to the future, someone here has invented that tool and some of the worlds best clinicians and most progressive care providers (including little minnows like us here at 3G Doctor!) are using it to listen to our patients in their own time and at their own convenience.