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Queen for a Day

By June 3, 2017December 6th, 2023Caregiver, ePatient, Informaticist, Written Only
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If I was queen for a day, with a genie, and a clean slate…


The practice management staff of XYZ clinic routinely runs a program of all their patients’ data to predict those at risk for needing urgent care or hospitalization. The practice contacts Alice (one of many such patients or caregivers) pointing them to their practice portal or speaks with her on the phone with the module open to them. A module in the portal or caller from the practice asks Alice to confirm the accuracy of the data and allows or asks her to correct or fill in information used in the screening program. Alice can type or speak her responses. The module or caller asks questions about the current status of her treatment plan (activity, diet, meds, appointments, etc.), her current abilities and symptoms, and asks her if she has questions. Depending on the answers, Alice may be instructed to go to an Emergency Room. If she needs Urgent Care, another module opens up to a clinician immediately available by video who has access to the same data as Alice and her answers to the clarifying questions. They discuss her status, make decisions, order tests and meds as needed and update her treatment plan. If she needs neither emergent or urgent care, her next appointment at the clinic is confirmed or scheduled and Alice is reminded of her treatment plan and schedule and pointed to activities and community resources that may be of value in the meantime. When Alice arrives at the clinic, her clinician views the entries in the portal module with her and they discuss her status, make decisions, and update her treatment plan. For any of the scenarios, Alice’s questions are answered live or via the portal. Costs and out-of-pocket expenses are included.

Gee, I’m in fantasyland here. I’m not a queen, have no genie, and the slate is broken. Portals exist and you can subscribe to urgent care telehealth services. The proactive nature of this scenario almost never happens. The data available to practices and patients seldom includes individual behavior, a live care plan, or genetics. Data about the physical environment and social circumstances are rarely present. Wouldn’t cost and real-time question answering be great!? What would you have as queen for a day, with a genie, and a clean slate?

Have a good week.

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