“Patient Engagement” or “Consumer Engagement” (meaning those who do not want be considered under treatment for a condition) is a viable part of the HITECH Act. The Phase I Rules most focused on this include the requirement that those receiving HITECH Incentives must –
“Provide clinical summaries for patients for each office visit.” (Page 59)
As an RD, this is exciting to me! It dredges up from memory from outpatient consults of long ago—trying to determine a patient’s past medical history, asking many probing questions and receiving conflicting information! Often the only information I had, unless I called the physician to discuss prior to the appointment, was the diet order written on a prescription and/or transcribed into an appointment book.
It also brings up conversations with my parents—both in their late 70’s. On more than one occasion, they both will be on the phone, giving me details of a medical visit, asking questions and---not agreeing on the exact details from their doctor! Luckily my mother now writes everything down prior to and during the discussion—and luckily there are many patient Internists around!
My impression is that this is one of many areas of the HITECH Act where opportunities for care improvement abound! As dietitians, we must strive to capture and use them all! Suggestions welcome!!