Helping Patients Make Better Decisions

May 15, 2013
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doctor-patient relationshipThe relevance of the doctor-patient relationship to better decision making and treatment compliance:

An important part of better decision making and compliance is better communication

doctor-patient relationshipThe relevance of the doctor-patient relationship to better decision making and treatment compliance:

An important part of better decision making and compliance is better communications between the doctor and patient. Over 13,000 articles on Pubmed report research on the importance of a quality patient doctor relationship. A quality patient-relationship is critical for ensuring that the patient understands and complies with the physicians treatment plan. Like any other relationship between 2 people – good communication is key.

Patients and physicians can use private social networking for healthcare with simple yet active tools to enable patients to understand the alternatives clearly, to have the right information (and not too much of it) in order to make an informed decision, and for patients and doctors to communicate their preferences in a clear way.

An example of a social networking application that supports improved decision making processes is a system designed by University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign professor Ali Abbas.

In the system, users can elect to receive feedback privately from friends or publicly. A Web-based decision-making software application analyzes the information and offers suggestions.

Any decision making process (and clinical decision making by a patient with their physician is no exception) is made of 3 parts:

  1. The different or alternative actions we can take,
  2. What information we know to make informed decisions, and
  3. Our preferences.

Other contributing factors the system analyzes include “which decision we are really facing, as well as the logic used to make the decision, and the decision-maker, whose alternatives, information, and preferences are incorporated,” Abbas notes.

He says the focus of his research is “capturing peoples’ preferences over multiple attributes.” Abbas stresses that the online system, developed with a U.S. National Science Foundation Faculty Early Career Development award, will offer “a way to analyze the recommendations that people give you that will be relevant to your daily life.”   For the full article see – Helping People through the Decision-Making Process Using a Web-Based Application

Another example of a social networking applications that supports of improved decision making for patients and doctors is Pathcare  – the private social networking service for a physician and her patients.

Pathcare is an incredibly beautiful and totally simple application that provides the key to solve the biggest problem today for a doctor and her patients. That problem is stress. Doctors and patients are stressed out.

Doctors are stressed by their patient load – more patients and less time to spend during a visit. They are also stressed by information overload from their electronic health record systems, and patients who come pre-loaded with tons of information from Dr. Google.

Patients are stressed by the healthcare system. No matter how hard their doctor tries – they always feel that they are kept in the dark.

Pathcare is a powerful, personal and private social network for a physician and her patients that provides three things to reduce stress and improve the patient-doctor relationship:

  1. Private messaging. Simple, fast, 10x more effective than email. It’s spam-free and without any of the distractions of your Gmail account; it’s also totally focused on the patient and doctor interface.
  2. Personalized updates. A patient can update their physician regarding their condition in 1 click – it’s as simple as a Facebook status update but without all the friends, parties and likes on pictures getting in the way.
  3. Physician branding. Pathcare provides the physician with your own private social network for healthcare. Pathcare is an incredible marketing tool for a private physician or group practice looking for an edge in today’s competitive healthcare market.

(image: doctor-patient relationship / shutterstock)