Narrowing the Focus

Through a series of offline asynchronous conversations the Guidelines Quick Team has reached the conclusion that our guidelines will have more transformative power if we narrow the focus to a very small number of items (about 3), that are measurable, achievable, and have the power to instigate change. We will keep developing the broader, deeper set of guidelines as a roadmap or guide to best practices for those who are interested in going beyond the basics.

In a phone conversation on 6/29/11, Indu Subaiya, Carol Peckham, Deb Linton, and Alan Greene focused on 3 items that would be the basis of a grassroots seal for providers committed to Participatory Medicine:

1)      Health Data in the Hands of Patients. Participatory providers will provide direct access to laboratory values and other health data proactively and as a matter of course. “We’ll call you if there’s an abnormal result,” has no place in Participatory Medicine.

2)      A Patient Advisory Council. Each participatory provider will convene a group of patients to provide input and feedback about all aspects of the practice. The group will meet at least twice a year, will review suggestions and feedback solicited from all patients, and will make their work visible to all patients in the practice.

3)      Resources in the Hands of Patients. Participatory providers will provide resources for additional learning about every diagnosis made (including age-appropriate health maintenance for a normal physical exam). These resources may be physical handouts, web Urls, book titles, the names of mobile apps, etc.

Providers committing to these three items would be eligible to display the Society Seal. We would maintain a public list of these providers and the opportunity for patients to nominate and comment on Participatory Medicine in the practice.

The Guidelines Quick Team will be presenting recommendations to the Society Board on 7/21/11. We will be honing these ideas between now and then. Comments, suggestions, and participation are, of course, welcome.