Friday, December 19, 2008

Online Follow up for Hospitalized Patients

I'm excited about a new program that we started today at the University of Arkansas, using the eDoc technology and team in partnership with the UAMS physicians.

We give every patient being discharged from the hospital a free subscription to our service, with the encouragement for them (or their family) to log on and ask a question or get a clarification about their recent hospitalization or other health questions that may be concerning them.

I don't know about your experience but, around here, when patients leave the hospital, it is not that easy for them to get in touch with one of the doctors associated with the hospitalization to get questions answered, etc.

So, anyway, they log on, ask our team questions and, if it is straightforward and we're comfortable answering, we do. If it needs to be passed on to one of the doctors who took care of the patient, we do that.

We're doing a three month pilot, then we'll reassess and see how we want to proceed.

What do you think of this idea? Let me hear from you.

5 comments:

Dr. Val said...

That's a terrific idea! What sort of outcome measures will you be following in the pilot? I have a feeling that with your support, complications and readmissions could be reduced. I'll follow your strategy with great interest.

Charles Smith, MD said...

Val,

Thanks for your comment. Will follow readmission rates, of course. Would like to do more, but probably that will have to wait.

Turnip said...

Wonderful! Definitely could have used this service after hospitalization of my husband and myself. We were so glad to be getting out of there, didn't think to ask questions and then after getting home and going thorugh the "normal" things, could have been reassuring to have someone to ask without feeling we were being a "bother".

Anonymous said...

I also agree this is a great idea. When we had our first child, we got home and were scared to death to not have the nurses around. You don't know what you don't know; so it's hard to ask questions when you are leaving the hospital, and as Turnip says sometimes you are just ready to leave!

Great job.

Anne said...

Do you know how many people discharged from the hospital have access and know how to use a computer? It is a nice idea, but you may need to add a phone line to reach everyone.

Is this service available to those who had out-patient surgery or just to those who were admitted to the hospital?