New York, NY — Patients are getting asked more and more to take part in the decision-making process concerning their care. Wearables and our cell phones have put personalized health data, albeit limited, at our fingertips more patients feel armed to have conversations with doctors about their health. A recent article in the Wall Street Journal called out a relatively new environment where patients are being asked for input: the emergency room. Dr. Erik Hess and his team at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn are developing “shared decisiomahyn-making aids” that will help patients that want to be part of the conversation digest often complicated decisions that are being made about the care they can receive. One such tool named Chest Pain Choice, included information about the patient’s diagnosis and provided a 45-day risk of a heart attack and the options for care. Another one of these tools is out of Nationwide Childrens Hospital in Columbus, Ohio and aims to help patients and parents make the decision between surgery and antibiotics for acute appendicitis in children. The tool is in the form of an iPad app that walks through the decision in about 10 minutes and changes based on whether or not it is talking to the parent or the child.
Why it matters:
Patients are getting more and more opportunities to be engaged in their health and doctors are willing to be engaged. Experiences that help patients understand the often confusing choices concerning their health are being created and studies are showing that unnecessary, costly tests and procedures could be provided by involving a willing patient in the process.