It’s encouraging to see the growing trend in patient advocacy and personal involvement as reported recently in USA Today and the Wall Street Journal, the later focusing on patient’s that are actively tracking their health.
There are several studies being run at medical institutions across the United States that have patients record their “Patient Reported Outcomes” or “Observations in Daily Living”. Project Health Design oversees the studies, and is a program that “explores practical ways to capture and integrate patient-recorded observations of daily living (ODLs) into clinical care.” What’s encouraging about these studies is that it confirms that health care professionals value this information. They want to understand how patients are reacting to treatments so they can provide the best care management.
We’re seeing that cancer patients understand the value of tracking their health as they use Navigating Cancer’s Daily Health Journal and Prepare for Doctor Visit reports. We’re also seeing that oncology clinics value this information as evidenced by their willingness to invite their patients to Navigating Cancer to track their health electronically. When communicated effectively to their health care team, a patient’s daily observations can make the difference in receiving the right interventions to effectively manage their care.
Patients who track their health just a minute a day using our Daily Health Journal can print summary reports in advance of their next doctor’s appointment that graphically show how they’ve been responding to treatment. This can make a huge difference in the care they receive as doctors can now make recommendations based on clear, factual data.
For patients “an entry a day helps you know what to say” and that can really improve their ability to communicate with their health care team.
Patients: has tracking your health helped you communicate better with your healthcare team? If you aren’t tracking your health, why?
Health care professionals: what’s your take? Is this valuable information?