Toward a patient-centered ambulatory after-visit summary: Identifying primary care patients’ information needs.

Authors: Clarke MA, Moore JL, Steege LM, Koopman RJ, Belden JL, Canfield SM, Kim MS


Inform Health Soc Care. 2017 Apr 11;:1-16

OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study was to determine the information needs of primary care patients as they review clinic visit notes to inform information that should be contained in an after-visit summary (AVS).
METHOD: We collected data from 15 patients with an acute illness and 14 patients with a chronic disease using semi-structured interviews. The acute patients reviewed seven major sections, and chronic patients reviewed eight major sections of a simulated, but realistic visit note to identify relevant information needs for their AVS.
RESULTS: Patients in the acute illness group identified the Plan, Assessment and History of Present Illness the most as important note sections, while patients in the chronic care group identified Significant Lab Data, Plan, and Assessment the most as important note sections.
DISCUSSION: This study was able to identify primary care patients' information needs after clinic visit. Primary care patients have information needs pertaining to diagnosis and treatment, which may be the reason why both patient groups identified Plan and Assessment as important note sections. Future research should also develop and assess an AVS based on the information gathered in this study and evaluate its usefulness among primary care patients.
PRACTICE IMPLICATIONS: The results of this study can be used to inform the development of an after-visit summary that assists patients to fully understand their treatment plan, which may improve treatment adherence.



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