AALVEZ’S MAR [15-06]: Viber Consultation

MEDICAL ANECDOTAL REPORT

Indexing Title: AALVEZ’S MAR [15-06]

MAR Title: Viber Consultation

Date of Medical Observation: May 2015

Tag: Answering a Patient’s Inquiry through the smartphone

Category: Professional/Ethical – Reinforcement

NARRATION:

I was about to went to sleep when suddenly I received a text message from a friend. He was consulting me about a certain problem about his foot. I was uncertain to answer him at first but I continued inquiring him about his problem. He told me how it started, how he felt about it and what are his concerns regarding it.

After a long conversation, he asked me if it was okay to send pictures of his problem through Viber (a messaging program or app for phones used to communicate through messages, pictures and sound files using an internet connection). I agreed. He then sent me pictures of his foot.

It became clear to me what his problem was. He was having an eczema (an irritation of the skin). I was hesitant to tell him about it since it needs consult with a dermatologist. I also wanted to see it in person. However, I learned that he was distant from where I am.

Since I had experience managing this kind of disease in my past work, I decided to explain to him the skin disease itself with its proper management. I sent him pictures I got from the internet regarding the disease. I still told him at the end of our conversation it still warrants consult with a dermatologist to better manage the case.

He thanked me. He then told me to update me regarding it after a week or so.

INSIGHT:

(Physical, Professional/Ethical, Psychosocial)

(Discovery, Stimulus, Reinforcement)

“Medicine is an art whose magic and creative ability have long been recognized as residing in the interpersonal aspects of patient-physician relationship.” – JA Hall

 A doctor’s communication and interpersonal skills encompass the ability to gather information in order to facilitate accurate diagnosis, counsel appropriately, give therapeutic instructions, and establish caring relationships with patients. These are the core clinical skills in the practice of medicine, with the ultimate goal of achieving the best outcome and patient satisfaction, which are essential for the effective delivery of health care.

Throughout the years, technology has developed rapidly. As a physician, we can adapt to take advantage of these advances for the past years to further communicate and develop our relationship with our patients. Be it in the form of emails, social network or messaging applications, all of this can aid us in better managing our patients.

Telemedicine is one of the newer concepts we have in the field of medicine. It takes advantage in the use of telecommunication and information technologies in order to provide clinical health care at a distance. It helps eliminate distance barriers and can improve access to medical services that would often not be consistently available in distant rural communities. It is also used to save lives in critical care and emergency situations.

In any way we could use, we help patients allaying their concerns through these different forms of communication.

ROJoson’s Notes (16sept18):

Used properly, communication through cellphone, Viber, email, and social media can promote patient rapport and facilitate patient management. Important information can be obtained such as progress reports, pictures, scanned diagnostic tests results, etc.

Telemedicine indeed.

Here are two examples of my cellphone communication with my patients who made progress reports on their medical conditions.

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