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Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Get an Ix with your Rx: Patient education by physicians

Joshua Seidman’s Advice: Research shows that 40%-80% of everything a doctor tells a patient in the office is forgotten, so taking along a patient advocate is a great strategy. Unfortunately, it is not always an option or sufficient. In order to ensure effective communication, every patient should leave the doctor's office with an information prescription (Ix). This after-visit summary reinforces what transpired in the clinic and outlines the person's next steps for self-management and interaction with the delivery system.

Providers that have implemented after-visit summaries — both in print form and available through a secure Web portal — have found that patients love them. The summaries provide something tangible to take home, guidance that is practical, and a bridge to the next visit or to a referral to another clinician.

Non-profit and government organizations such as the Center for Information Therapy, American College of Physicians and National Library of Medicine have been advocating information prescriptions for years.

Next time you go to the doctor, make sure to get an Ix with your Rx.

Read a story about model provider-patient communication, or read more atJoshua’s web site.

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