In a study conducted by West and Kelton Global in 2017, it seemed that there was widespread dissatisfaction with the American Healthcare System with about 43% of surveyed patients expressing frustration. Only 20% were optimistic and the rest admitted to varying degrees of stress, disappointment, and happiness. As if to add insult to injury, 48% of Providers don’t think patients are getting the best care. Clearly, efforts should be directed towards reversing this opinion given more opportunities for proactive preventative care with recent changes in the Affordable Care Act.
Providers have various tools at their disposal that can be used to improve patient engagement; sometimes even before they step into the clinic for a scheduled preventative visit. In fact, the outreach questionnaire can uncover worsening of chronic diseases and can flag for conditions that require counseling. For instance, some patients are not fully aware that they are not eating properly or exercising as they should, especially when they are overweight and in their forties. Having to answer the questions away from the clinical setting can be an early reality check that prepares them to answer questions more accurately. Some patients feel an unreasonable pressure to seem to be in better health than they truly are during face-to-face encounters with their doctor. In fact, a study in 2015 reports that 30% of women and 23% of men were not honest with their doctors and would resort to white lies or withheld information about their health concerns.
Mostly the sanitized information stems from fear of getting embarrassed but 27% claim that there was too little time during the visit to discuss the concern at length while 32% said that the doctors did not specifically ask the right questions. To improve the quality of information and increase patient engagement, the Outreach (Pre-visit) questionnaire should be thorough, neutral in tone and standardized. Answering questions online saves time on paperwork during the actual appointment – meaning increased interaction with the doctors on issues that matter the most,
In fact, many things that impact over-all health can be uncovered such as:
- use of OTC herbs or supplements (especially blood thinners)
- discontinuing or substituting medicine without notice (abrupt cessation is especially dangerous for antibiotics and mood-altering drugs)
- lifestyle preferences that contribute to morbidity and predispose to the development of chronic conditions.
With Prevounce, this technology is already in place. Once the patient clicks “Submit” the Provider can easily import the answers into the patient’s database. But this isn’t something cast in stone since the data can be edited during the visit. The doctors, on the other hand, feel that by being able to face their health issues prior to the visit, the patients can take a more active role in their health – something that augers well for improving the quality of care and health outcomes.