The latest feature we’ve added that we’re excited to share is the ability for clinicians to initiate a consultation with patients. Patients have been able to start a consultation with a clinician through Patients Know Best but now a clinician can request that a patient complete the consultation as well. The clinician can choose from a list of different consultation questionnaires so it can be as specialised or generalised as the clinician would like.
There are many different possible applications for this functionality. For example, a GP might ask all his/her diabetes patients to complete a diabetes consultation through PKB on an annual basis, thereby saving patients whose condition is under control a visit, or catching cases where the condition is heading out of control, potentially saving a costly hospital admission. Clinicians can also ask patients to complete a consultation through Patients Know Best ahead of a scheduled live consultation so the clinician has the information about the patient’s symptoms to hand at the beginning of the visit. The clinician can also feel confident that all the relevant questions about the patient’s situation have been asked.
A third way the feature can be used is in clinical research to administer any standardised questionnaires, within a system where the patient has explicitly given consent and will have a record of participation in the study. This is one of the ways the Thalidomide Trust is using it with beneficiaries, in a neurology study being conducted by Imperial College London. There are plenty of other ways a clinician-initiated online consultation through Patients Know Best could prove useful, but these are just a few we’re actively working on.