The team at Doctors Grand Plaza have had great success with their version of the patient held health summary – “the blue folder”
Melissa Cahill tells their story.
Our finest achievement conceived through the collaborative process is our “blue folder”. The blue folder is our version of the hand held record and the patients are encouraged to take it with them to specialist appointments, allied health appointments or to the ED if they need to present there.
In this is a copy of
- the patient’s medical history,
- current medication,
- management plan,
- recent results (bloods, x-rays, echos etc) and
- current ECGs or ABIs.
The management plan also includes our invention – “the care calendar” (something I know that Tony’s practice has stolen shamelessly). The care calendar is a one paged three columned monthly calendar that sets out what needs to be done by the patient and the doctor for each month. The three columns include last year, this year and the next year. That way I can see what has been done when (i.e. the patients last yearly eye check was in Aug 2008 so it must be due again in Aug 09). and what is due to come before they are seen in 3 months time (i.e. we are seeing the patient in October and their ophthalmology appointment is due in November so a referral should be done at the October visit) and what is due in the future (i.e. their follow up colonoscopy or pap smear is not due til next year).
If updated correctly and regularly (I try to update the calendar even when I get a specialist letter telling me the patient is due to see them in 6 months), it is an easy way to know what is due when (without going through screens of old notes and blood results) and helps keep the patient organised as well (I derive great pleasure when the patient tells me when their blood tests are due rather than the other way around).
We continually get great feedback via the patients from the hospitals about our folder. One of my regular patients came in to see me today. We had tried very hard to sell him the idea of the blue folder but he finally took it in with him when he saw a physician at the PAH. He told me with great pride that the physician and the registrar poured over the folder with its depth of information like “piranhas” and that the comments they gave were “impressive” and “every doctor should look after their patients like this”.
Needless to say that made me quite proud and ensured that he would continue to take his blue folder to all his specialist appointments in future.
Melissa has been kind enough to share an example of their care caendar at this link.
Are you using a patient held record? Have you found it useful? What do you include? Have you any sample pages to share?