I was tooling around the ‘net’ (read killing time) and I stopped by AHRQ.gov to see what’s up. I stumbled on “Questions To Ask Your Doctor” The pages opening paragraph says:
“Asking questions and providing information to your doctor and other care providers can improve your care. Talking with your doctor builds trust and leads to better results, quality, safety, and satisfaction.”
That’s mom, apple pie, and the stars and stripes all rolled into two sentences. Further down the page you’ll see:
- The 10 questions you should know
- Questions to ask before your appointment
- Questions to ask during your appointment
- Questions to ask after your appointment
- Build your own list of questions
Which links to deeper insights and questions. Overall these are excellent and accurately address the key needs to improve patient physician engagement. They are well done and thought through. AHRQs even includes a video from patients and physicians why this is important.
I am very curious about this page and the information it offers patents. How many hits a month they have? How many are unique? Who is the average page viewer, age, gender, education, etc? What do they do with these questions? What is their expectations with their HCP? And what happened when they did go to the HCP with the questions? And what does the HCP think when asked these questions? That would tell us so much about patient physician engagement. How is executed? Do sites like AHRQ help improve it or does this fall on deaf ears therefore requiring a different tactic?
Second, I am wondering if this page and information is reaching as many people as it should? How is AHRQ promoting the page? Does it just fall into the overall AHRQ promotion if there is any?
Additionally I think that many of these questions are not limited to AHRQ. I suspect most if not all hospital systems and providers have web sites that feature similar questions. Mayo Clinic when you search ‘questions to ask your physician‘ has a myriad of links for disease specific questions. See here.
Now what I don’t know since I am sitting out here and not inside these organizations do they know if these questions are used? Why? Why not? Do using these questions have an impact on patient care? Outcomes? Are they measuring impact?
To know this information would do much to help improve the work flow (i.e. patient physician engagement) of the HCP and the patient. As a marketing problem we need to know what is happening, how it is being used, and what it’s accomplishing. Once that is done we either pat ourselves on the back or scrape it and rebuild it to meet the needs of patients and HCPs.
How would want to use these questions? As a patient or caregiver or as an HCP.