While I was interviewing Sarah, an avid supporter of Choosing Wisely, she told me it was hard to remember the questions that patients were told to ask their doctors and nurses. Now the American Board of Internal Medicine distributes business sized cards to hand out to patients for this reason. Sarah who used to live in Wales told me she lost her card years ago and improvises when she visits the doctor. This made me think of an alternative way in which patients can still have the important information with them without losing it.
An app! What if The American Board of Internal made an app that patients can access when they are waiting for their appointment in their doctors waiting room. They could easily access the information. Ofcom states that over two-thirds of people now own a smartphone which means that many people would benefit from it.
The Choosing Wisely mobile app would be available on Android and Apple platforms to cater for all users of mobile phone. It could include all the recommendations and patient pamphlets that are already available to patients. They could be categorized by keywords for ease of use and efficiency.
It could list the 17 medical societies that are on the initiative website and the patient-friendly materials on 160 conditions and procedures. The main part of Choosing Wisely will also be incorporated into a section called “Do I Need This Test?”
The app could be a new and better ways of informing patients while they are in the process of making decisions about their treatment.
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