It shouldn’t be surprising that when you are well and in proximity to sick people, the likelihood of you getting sick increases significantly. In fact, “the Journal of Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology says well-child doctor appointments - like annual exams - result in more cases of flu-like symptoms within the next two weeks.” So why do we still go into clinics, hospitals and doctor’s offices when there are new ways to address walking diagnosis and ambulatory care?
Ambulatory Care Pre-Technology
House calls have become a thing of the past. Statistics show that “In the early 1930s, house calls by doctors were 40% of doctor-patient meetings. By 1980, it was only 0.6%.” But, clearly there aren’t enough resources for everyone to show up at a hospital for every ache and pain, so this brought about the rise of Ambulatory Care, which Wikipedia describes as:
“Ambulatory care or outpatient care is medical care provided on an outpatient basis, including diagnosis, observation, consultation, treatment, intervention, and rehabilitation services. This care can include advanced medical technology and procedures even when provided outside of hospitals”
The value of Ambulatory Care is further explained in the article as:
“Many medical investigations and treatments for acute and chronic illnesses and preventive health care can be performed on an ambulatory basis, including minor surgical and medical procedures, most types of dental services, dermatology services, and many types of diagnostic procedures (e.g. blood tests, X-rays, endoscopy and biopsy procedures of superficial organs). Other types of ambulatory care services include emergency visits, rehabilitation visits, and in some cases telephone consultations.”
While not having to stay in a hospital is usually a very good (and certainly much less expensive) proposition, the ability to avoid the doctor’s office or clinic takes that a step further and that is where the technology age and digital medicine steps in.
What Is A Walking Diagnosis
As the age of technology brings more advancements in all areas of medicine, one of the latest to take advantage is the area of ambulatory care, specifically with the introduction of new digital medicine apps. We have already covered “The Promise and Reality of Digital Medicine”, so you should start with that blog if you haven’t already read it.
The evolution of a walking diagnosis thanks to digital medicine is primarily about collaboration and information flow through newly available digital means (i.e. your smartphone or Healthcare IoT). According to DiME Society, while historically information flowed:
- “Stock - A patient receives test result or piece of evidence every couple months or years
- Human Readable: Test results be interpreted by a human (e.g., tissue samples, reactivity of a chemical compound)
- Human-Shared: Results shared from one human (e.g., a doctor) to another (e.g., a patient), most often in-person, and in an environment with space for context and questions.”
It is now possible to also have:
“Flows - Data can come in by the minute or millisecond (e.g., heart rate information, continuous glucose monitoring)
Non-Human Readable: Results produced from algorithms run on large samples of data (e.g., genomic sequencing or predictions of abnormal heart conditions). Not feasible for a human to double-check the information.
Machine-Shared: An algorithm shares a digital result. Limited context exists for a human to correct false positives/negatives in real-time.”
The net benefit is that clinicians now have access to all of their patient’s data when it can make the most difference and the patient truly collaborates throughout their own care journey.
MOre Than Just Data Collection
Just collecting healthcare data is not enough to satisfy either the clinician’s need for proactivity or the patient’s desire for more interaction. What is needed is a platform that enables true collaboration throughout the care journey.
Noteworth’s comprehensive care delivery system allows integration and optimization with your EMR, and it can replace multiple remote offerings under one platform, reducing the need for multiple reporting overlaps. On top of which, it allows for a “walking diagnosis” and tracking of symptoms with Patient Reported Outcomes and Adherence to Care Plan, including Medication Management and RPM which allows for proactive care. Noteworth enriches the ambulatory patient experience and allows clinicians to practice at the top of their licenses by easily and effectively producing and managing the data that confirms superior clinical outcomes, reducing cost of care and improving patient safety and satisfaction.
Bottomline is that when the patient feels like they are actively involved in their own care with a feedback loop (and not just something else to do), you set an entirely new bar for healthcare delivery by creating an empowerment model for the patient. Now is the time to see for yourself how you can provide unrivaled confirmation of superior clinical outcomes, reduce cost of care and improve patient safety and satisfaction by enriching the patient experience and allowing clinicians to practice at the top of their licenses or better yet, request a demo today.