In medicine as in most professional settings, there are a lot of different people with different roles coming together to deliver your care, from the GP, to the specialist, to the support staff, to the pharmacist, to the lab technician, etc. Modern medicine in all its sophistication depends on this sort of teamwork, but along with it comes the risk of lack of ownership and things falling through the cracks.
Patients Know Best is all about helping to fill in the gaps by empowering patients to get involved in and proactively manage their care. The latest feature we’ve introduced to help this happen is Hand Over functionality. Now, in any discussion with a patient, a clinician can hand over the discussion to another clinician in that patient’s team. In the handover, the original clinician writes a covering note; that note plus the entire discussion is copied into the new clinician’s list of discussions. The patient and new clinician are notified by email that the handover has happened and the new clinician takes over the discussion.
What this does is mimic offline workflow, where patients are constantly being shared and handed over by various health professionals and staff. But, crucially, by using Patients Know Best, the patient is involved and aware every step of the way and it is clear and documented for all to see which clinician is in charge of the patient’s care at what point. The handover functionality can be used by a clinician who is going away to hand over patients to a colleague, or by GP’s to refer a patient to a specialist in lieu of the standard referral letter, or by doctors to delegate to a nurse or an assistant. By way of an actual example, at the Thalidomide Trust as part of a neurology study the Trust’s support staff is sending consultations to patients; once the patient has completed the questionnaire, the discussion gets handed over by the support staff to the consultant leading the study.
You can read detailed instructions about the handover functionality in our Help pages here.