Dr. Francis Peabody once famously wrote: "the secret of the care of the patient is in caring for the patient."
Oh, if only that were still true.
Today, patient care involves a variety of tasks. Remarkably few actually involve the patient.
It's worth noting that many, if not all, of these activities are highly valuable, and are designed to prevent negative outcomes for patients. We believe they should also be convenient and, whenever possible, enjoyable for physicians to complete.
Let's review the ways that ALOE can increase physician engagement in these tasks by increasing their sense of competence, autonomy, and relatedness when completing them.
Physicians want to do right by their patients. As we gain a deeper and more complete understanding of the human body and its ailments, it can be hard to determine exactly what the right thing is.
Practicing cutting-edge, evidence-based medicine should be hard. Knowing how to access the latest guidelines, policies, and treatment modalities should be easy.
Dr. Petrik is a full-spectrum OBGYN who cares for patients in the inpatient and outpatient settings. He always intends to follow his department's policies, but sometimes it feels like the timing of policy changes and the location of those policies can be just as unpredictable as the babies he delivers.
For this reason, he asked his chair to purchase ALOE for his department. He can't wait to use the AI-driven ALOE ChatBot to walk through the updated policy he needs, when he needs it, instead of hoping he is using the right one. He has tried out the ALOE ChatBot that his friend's institution has, and he really enjoyed the experience of asking for the policy he needs with his own words, getting immediate access to the one he needs, and then answering simple "yes or no" questions to get to the answer, instead of trying to parse heavy text to derive his answer. If the experience was so much better when he was trying it with his friend on a Sunday afternoon, he can only imagine what a difference it will make when it's 3AM and he's running on little to no sleep.
If you want to better understand what modern physicians are feeling, try this experiment: ask a handful of doctors if they control their electronic health record, or if their electronic health record controls them.
Don't be surprised if they say they are controlled by their electronic health records.
If we want physicians to feel more engaged with their work, we need to get them back in control.
Here's an example that illustrates how ALOE can help:
Dr. Schmidt remembers a time when charting involved handwritten notes that were complete but to-the-point. Today, he reviews electronic charts and struggles to even find a point. He has scaled back his clinical practice dramatically, and he hired a scribe to do most of the documentation for him. However, he also serves as a medical expert in medical malpractice lawsuits, and he has to spend a lot of time reviewing electronic records as part of this work. For each case, he receives a printed-out copy of the plaintiff's complete medical record. He wonders how many trees it takes for each one.
Now that he's provided testimony in over a dozen cases, he has stopped being surprised by the numerous errors, redundancies, and unnecessary information filling up these large stacks of records. He has seen first-hand how sloppy documentation can put doctors at greater risk of liability.
For this reason, he called his friend, Dr. Conlon, who is the CMO of a local hospital. Dr. Schmidt implored him to look into solutions to help his physicians document accurately. Thanks to this suggestion, Dr. Conlon contacted ALOE.
The physicians with privileges at Dr. Conlon's hospital now use the AI-driven customized ChatBot to help them document accurately, completely, and with less grief. By asking ALOE ChatBot questions such as, "how many physical exam components do I need to do for a level 4 visit?", "what's the best template for an intra-op note?", "what's the order set for a newly-diagnosed diabetic?", and "what are some tips to make my notes better?" physicians at his hospital are getting immediate help with documentation.
Though the main goal was improving documentation to decrease liability, Dr. Conlon's chairs report increased physician satisfaction because they finally feel like they can streamline their use of the EHR.
Physicians really enjoy talking shop with one another. Just ask any non-medical person who has attended a work function with their physician spouse.
Unfortunately, as medical practices multiply and hospital reaches extend, physicians find themselves more and more isolated from one another. Moreover, when they do find themselves in the same room with one another, time constraints and other tasks often prevent them from interacting meaningfully.
Here's an example of how use of ALOE can help relate to one another around patient care:
Dr. Bronson just saw a patient with a cluster of symptoms he's never seen before. He desperately wants to help this patient, but he just doesn't know what to do. He doesn't want to offer treatment before he knows the diagnosis, but the patient could really use some relief. Dr. Bronson needs a little help from some friends.
Without mentioning any protected information, Dr. Bronson posts in his department's ALOE community forum focused on diagnostic challenges. He shares the patient's age, sex assigned at birth, symptoms, brief past medical history, and medications. He says, "this patient is in pain, but I don't know why. Has anyone seen anything like this before?"
While at one of their department's other clinical locations, Dr. DePaul sees the post while waiting for a patient who is running late for their appointment. She digests the information and finds something about it familiar. She realizes that she saw a presentation at a recent conference with a case series of patients who reported similar concerns. She finds the abstract online and comments on Dr. Bronson's post with a brief summary and the linked reference.
A few hours later, Dr. Simon logs on and likes Dr. DePaul's comment. He adds, "I saw a few cases like this in fellowship. Patients really responded to a short course of steroids."
At the end of the day, Dr. Bronson returns to the forum and is delighted by the response he sees. Several people have liked Dr. Simon's comment, and a few others added some relevant articles for him to review. He opens them and reads to see if they do describe what he is seeing in his patient. Ultimately, he concludes that they seem to be right, and calls his patient.
A few days later, Dr. Bronson receives an electronic message from his patient reporting relief from his symptoms. Dr. Bronson logs back on to the forum to thank his team for their help.