“A Process, Not a Souvenier” – Sharing After Visit Summaries with DC Primary Care Association

The quote in the title is from Mark Snyder, MD, Associate Medical Director, Information Technology, Mid-Atlantic Permanente Medical Group, who once again, volunteered to demonstrate how Kaiser Permanente improves medical care for patients using the latest technology. This happened at Kaiser Permanente North Capitol Medical Center, which takes great care of a community that includes the United States Capitol.

Mark was demonstrating the After Visit Summary, in this case, to a group of leaders from the District of Columbia Primary Care Association, which is currently undertaking an impressive program to implement health information technology in safety net medical centers in Washington. Senior Project Specialist Lauren Mardirosian was in attendance, along with Tracy Knight, NW Social Services Director from Bread for the City, and Deborah Parris, Health Information Manager from Family and Medical Counseling Services.

I set up the visit, with Kaiser Permanente’s help, because I am excited by the fact that our members’ experience can help patients in every care system, locally and nationally. It’s a virtuous circle – sharing our experience brings other experience back that we can use to do even better, and the cycle continues. I have really learned the reinforcing power of sharing in this journey. It’s even more enjoyable when I get to work with colleagues like Mark and Medical Center Chief Doug VanZoeren, MD, who willingly give their time alongside me.

What about the After Visit Summary? Mark showed that by involving the patient in its development, he makes the creation as important as the delivery in achieving its goals – involving patients and families in their care. In an era where we talk about Web2.0, Health2.0, and focus on user generated content, I think this is a great example – we create the record of what happened today, together.

DCPCA is implementing a modern electronic health record system, manufactured by eClinicalWorks, that has this capability. A care system that I visited in Sonoma, California, is already generating these for patients. Sometimes a piece of paper (albeit one that is also available on the Web in real time, on Kaiser Permanente’s personal health record, kp.org) can be as revolutionary as the people who put it together.

Thanks again to DCPCA, Mark, Doug, and Kaiser Permanente North Capitol Medical Center members and staff for their interest in helping patients everywhere.

Pictures: Click on any to see larger. Note: The patient displayed is a test patient. No actual patient information was demonstrated during the visit.

Ted Eytan, MD