Patients as Partners

You have just taken your premature infant home after a long stay at the Neonatal ICU. Your new son is going home on fortified breast milk.  You have been given a recipe on how to fortify breast milk, but you can’t find it.  You know it’s in the papers you were sent home with, along with the folder for the follow-up clinic, and the handouts for physical therapy exercises for torticollis.  And the handout for car seats.  And the handout on signs of fever in a newborn.  And the one on drugs that can be taken while breast feeding, and the sheet that has directions for the WIC office.  But the information is all there.  In the folder.  Your doctor also has a comprehensive website with enough information to make you a board certified pediatrician. And this is just the first day.

From the physician perspective, we provide as much information as possible during our brief interactions with our patients. It is a never ending task to keep our website updated and impossible to get patients to the information they’re looking for before they jump to a Google search. We and our staff are overloaded with appointments, reminders, and phone calls- repeatedly answering questions and trying keeping patients encouraged and on track.  If patients become frustrated, our Google reviews take a hit that will haunt us for years. There isn’t enough time and its exhausting. There has to be a better way.

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