What Are Two Ways Organizations Can Improve Patient Visits?

Trevor Torres, Student, Patient, “Diabetes Evangelist”

I think that it’s very important to talk to specific patients at your specific facility (or whatever you’re trying to improve) because the important thing is to do what the patients want as far as improving communication with them.

A couple of things that I have seen to be successful for me is — and I know lots of places have — is an online patient portal. University of Michigan’s patient portal is very user friendly, and I, as a lay person, can navigate it. It doesn’t quite feel like Apple — like two buttons and a 3-year-old can use it — but it’s much closer than other health care websites I’ve had to try and navigate through.

So I think that having a really good website that allows a patient to organize a lot of [his or her] logistics can be very important, especially for a chronic disease patient with lots of logistics to organize.

One thing I really, really want in any health care setting, is I really want to be able to video chat with my doctors. And I think that there might be some security issues with that, but that would be my sort of “pet aim” to incorporate into health care.

Most of my visits, I don’t actually have to be there physically. So when we are talking about a treatment plan for diabetes, there’s only two reasons that I would ever have to be in the clinic. One, is if they needed to check my injection sights or something to see if I’m developing scar tissue. Most of the time, though, we’re not going to be needing to do that on a very regular basis. Most of the time, it’s just because a provider either feels that I might be uncomfortable or feels uncomfortable himself [or herself] talking over a video camera.