Nowadays whether you are moving to a new city, taking a road trip or just dining with friends at a new restaurant, it is impossible to get lost along the way with Google Maps. This app has made the days of stopping at a gas station for directions or constantly updating your maps on your Garmin GPS device obsolete. Google Maps makes it easy, plug in an address or location name in your app and go. Google has made getting to our destination down to a science with always up-to-date street maps, 360 degree panoramic views, real-time traffic conditions and even choosing your route plan by mode of transportation. Google Maps lets their users set the pace by choosing to avoid highways tolls, or enjoying the scenery through backroads. Whatever your preferences may be you name it and you got it at your fingertips.
If only navigating the healthcare system was that easy. Providers present information in a way that is so difficult to understand for anyone who’s not a medical professional. Current patient instructions remind me of the 1990s using basic written instructions to find a location or O’Reilly’s street maps. I would have to stop and ask directions from the local gas station or bystanders. How reminiscent that today most patients get majority of their information from friends and neighbours who have experience with a similar condition.
Let’s think about this for a second in the context of healthcare, let’s say you’re experiencing pain in the right side of your stomach, so you make an appointment to see your primary care doctor. Turns out your doctor is concerned too. In fact, so concerned that he is referring you to a surgeon asap. Alright, so now you’re pretty concerned as well, so you setup your appointment and go see the surgeon, who then sends you for some tests. At your follow up appointment your diagnosed with cholecystitis and are told you need surgery. Next thing you know, you’re leaving the surgeon’s office with a brochure, too many verbal instructions that will be impossible to remember, the paperwork you signed saying you and your surgeon are on the same page and a surgery appointment date. You get home, look at all the information and think to yourself, what just happened?
In retrospect you now realize you have a million questions starting with what is cholecystitis? After your panic attack, you pick yourself up off the floor, take a deep breath and crack open that brochure. You know the one they gave you at your appointment with all the heavy medical jargon and brief description of the condition in 1-2 pages. Yes, that’s the one. Luckily, this brochure has a few pictures and you realize you need your gallbladder removed. That sounds like a pretty big deal. So you start to wonder, do I have a good surgeon? How many of these procedures has he done? What will be my recovery time? Will I miss work? Will I need someone to take care of me when I am discharged? Too many unanswered questions. If only you could have been better prepared for this appointment in the first place.
If our doctor’s appointments used technology that allows patients to navigate their healthcare journey like google maps provides turn-by-turn instructions, then we’d get safer and better outcomes for sure. Imagine if Doctor’s provided patients with detailed, electronic, step-by-step instructions, action items, progress tracking and incentives. All of these actions have been shown to save lives and reduce costs while making the patient experience far less stressful. It is a proven fact that when a patient is prepared and knows what to expect, they will have an optimal outcome. So why don’t doctors prepare their patients by giving them a checklist?
Doctella’s Smartlist technology provides a simple to use technology for doctors. Using Smartlists is as easy as your doctor prescribing a personalized checklist based on your preferences, beliefs and belongings and delivering it to you in step by step directions to get you from point A to point B. Surgery is already scary, so why do we have to make it more complicated? Smartlists are designed to make patient engagement simple by giving step-by-step, actionable, timely information, education and things to do so patients can safely make it to their destination. Doctors can even monitor their patient’s journey to ensure they are going in the right direction and at the right speed. So many patients want to be partners in their medical decisions and fortunately Doctella has created a map to give patients interactive, turn by turn directions, to be successful in understanding their medical problems when they arise and a safe vehicle to complete their journey. When it comes to your health no one knows you better than you, so make sure your clinicians empower you with the correct directions to get you safely to your planned destination.