Did you forget what I told you?

via Markle.orgI stumbled across this interesting little bit from the Markle Survey on Health in a Networked Life. It concerns perceptions of communication gaps between patients and physicians. Simply put, doctors think patients forget things they tell them and patients think doctors forget things about them.

While both situations are probably true, the gap in the perceptions is something to take note of. Underlying this gap is the question of responsibility of ownership of health data. The survey reported that nearly half of patients feel their “main doctor” should be responsible for owning their data, but 2 in 5 consumer and physician groups felt that patients should have the ultimate responsibility for owning their data . Check out their slideshow. (Note the 27% response rate from a small convenience sample of physicians.)

In the world of physical therapy, no one really knows much about how data is stored and what perceptions exist about ownership of data, or even if patients think physical therapists likewise forget things about them at the same rate that they perceive physicians do. We simply have not asked those questions. That point aside, rehabilitation professionals would do well to consider the concept of data ownership. Perhaps engaging in initiatives like “The Blue Button” would be a great place to start. Physical therapists: does your paper-based documentation system have a blue button? Does your EHR?