Think of my perspective as a point of green, from Georges Seurat’s “A Sunday on La Grande Jatte.”
It matters, but when viewed from a distance becomes indistinct and coalesces from a pattern of dots to create what our minds interpret as grass, leaves or a shadow..
Depending on the number and placement of other similar points of green, the landscape changes.
So in my own way, I am hoping to influence the essential interaction a patient has with his physician at the office visit.
Let’s focus on what you want during your visit with your family physician.
Do you want your physician to greet you, and then turn towards his computer, and start asking a series of questions, and filling out items on the computer screen that really do not have much to do with your concerns?
Say, you come in because of a cough for 3 weeks, and the fever curve is displayed, the chest x-ray and radiology report easily viewed, and a reminder of your medication allergy to penicillin glares at you like a billboard on the edge of the highway. An Up To Date handout, hot off the press, last reviewed by the experts just a month ago, as your doc points out at the top, and clicks on the reviewers of the literature, name and credentials from Harvard, Hopkins or Yale. A nice review of pneumonia, refreshing and reassuring you that your doc is not some stale sort, but keeps up with the best of the best. Who, then prints up a copy, staples, and gives you, saying he understands that all this is a bit of a shock and this information will help so you can review later when you feel better.
As he prescribes the antibiotic you can see all your drug interactions, and remind him of the pharmacy to send and see all of this as it is being done in real time.
He reminds you to come back for a followup chest x ray in 4 weeks to make sure the pneumonia clears, and show the yellow reminder tab in your chart so his nurse will have the order and send to radiology the day before your visit.
Does this sound like something you would like and are you currently getting this level of care? I do hope so, because it is currently being done and can be implemented by the physician for a very reasonable amount.