As a physician at an academic medical center I wear multiple hats that require my attention in various ways. Information comes to me through several medium including emails, patient portals, Electronic Medical Records (EMRs), text messages, pages, phone calls, conference calls and face to face meetings. This leads to my days never having a dull moment however keeping track of information is no easy task. Clinic days are perhaps the biggest challenge as they are typically hectic and require significant consolidation of information while compressed into individual patient visits. Being able to communicate information effectively and efficiency is very fulfilling however poses a continuous challenge in a world of increasing volumes of data and multiple sources.
My perfect health care system would consolidate the information that is important to me into one single system or point of reference. My perfect clinic experience would allow me to see patients with a firm understanding of both the issues that the patient wanted to discuss and what I felt was also important to care all confirmed into one system. When I arrive to the pre-clinic huddle, our team would review the labs, cultures and lung function collected in the days prior to the appointment. The patients would already have confirmed and reviewed their medications, allergies and problem lists that could be awaiting my confirmation in the electronic medical record. Potential questions and concerns patients were looking to address would already be sent and anticipated with letters, prescriptions and needs already awaiting their visit. The clinic experience itself would contain physical exam components but would focus with majority of time on frank discussions of mutually pertinent care issues. Any information discussed would be uploaded not only to an electronic visit summary but also imported into the note and care plan. Guidelines and requirement would be easily visible to care team members as well as patients and allow for automatic reminders to be set. If patients contact the office during the clinic for illness or concerns, non-acute issues could be deferred to a standard questionnaire/needs assessment and could sign up for a virtual appointment on a calendar slot. Sick visits would be handled remotely as much as possible to provide better access to care and ensure the appointments are as well planned as possible. This ideal is not far from possible in a technical sense but will require commitment and mutual input from patients and providers like.
I am personally motivated to participate in the CF Learning Network (CFLN) as I believe that improving care delivery and education are as important as the medications and therapies that we prescribe. Patients empowered with the proper tools and information become valuable advocates for their care. Education requires understanding on a personal level but also how it applies to larger groups of similar peers. The CFLN will look to refine these methods while also understanding how formal interventions can improve care across different populations.
One of my most memorable meetings was the first future Care Model Design meeting. I was most struck by the varied backgrounds and interests of the individuals present who were all commented to the case cause. It was helpful to understand their perspective and to learn their view points on how to solve a common issue.
The milestone I am looking forward to most is being able to identify the interventions that work best for individual patients based off of genetic material. This may include larger scale trials or collected information from a larger registry that is easily accessible. Lofty milestone for sure, but dreams can come true!