A great Easter weekend at our favourite hide-out on the Llyn! Sun shine when none is forecasted just past Llanbedrog. And time to enjoy clean air, great food, the sound of the waves … To my disappointment I even have wifi reception in the hotel. So have to convince myself that nothing major is going to happen in the next two days and I can just read Salman Rushdie.
At the same time many of my patients will have spent a less comfortable time in hospital. We have now Wifi for patients at the Ysbyty Gwynedd, and it is even pretty good. But for those of us that believe in digital integration a few things remain puzzling.
- I can get most things coordinator into my digital diary: but no patient would have got their appointments in hospitals digitally!
- I hold some of my medical information on my mobile phone: but I am not able to synchronise this with the hospital system.
- Many patients will take their own medications at home (sometimes helped by a digital reminder) but in hospital nobody is allowed to use these.
It would appear that the hospital is the last place where paternalistic care models are the norm.
But this is about to change. Maybe first on paper: Medistori was developed by Olive O’Connor for the health needs of her family and in particularly her three daughters who have all had their fair share of chronic health problems (http://medistori.com/). At the moment Medistori is a paper record like many other, but is hoping to go digital. An important step on the digital planet.
Olive is one of many patients and relatives that have taken action to make care safer. Patients take part in infection prevention (http://www.pulsecenterforpatientsafety.org/). The Batz guide is named after Louise Batz who died from adverse effects of over-sedation. Her family took a very pro-active role in creating materials that could help patients to stay safe in hospital (http://www.louisebatz.org/patients/the-batz-guide/): lists of medications, questions to ask, and risks to be aware of. And the Batz guide is now also available as an app. But not yet synchronising with hospital records.
What would it take for hospitals to allow patients to download their data into the Electronic Patient Record?