Monday, October 06, 2008

Two suggestions to improve the transition of care after discharge

---were discussed in Today’s Hospitalist.

Call and check on the patient. Many programs have tried this, but it’s very labor intensive.

Discharge summary to go. Now there’s an idea. It may be an underrated advantage of electronic medical records, because you can generate a summary on the spot and give it to the patient. Dr. John Nelson, a leader in hospital medicine and co-founder of SHM, counters the objections of those concerned about patients reading what we put in the record:

But he maintains that concerns about patients getting too much information or becoming unduly worried about a diagnosis haven’t been much of an issue. He is careful not to use labels like “drug seeker” in a summary; instead, he notes that a patient has “complex pain management issues.”And he doesn’t balk at including that a patient is obese, for instance. “I think we shouldn’t hide the reason behind the person’s health.”


Anonymous said...

Giving the note to the patient works well in the office. I can't do this with my EMR for all patients but a few extra minutes to finish the note so it can be faxed and a copy given to the patient is worthwhile for my complicated patients enroute to an admission or with upcoming appointments with other physicians.

Anonymous said...

Referring to malingering as "complex pain management issues" is hiding the reason. Euphemism is a form of deception.