How often do you wonder how a change in dosing will affect outcomes? What about novel ways to motivate your diabetic patients to adhere to their strict diets – what’s working for other clinicians? Comparing notes on clinical challenges and experiences with peers is a valuable practice.
A member of one of our communities recently shared an experience about a 23-year-old female patient who sought help after a major depressive episode. The patient’s mother had bipolar disorder and the clinician wanted to understand the possible influence of family history. Eight community members responded almost immediately, and their insights were helpful in determining a diagnosis. Some also responded about possible medications that could be relevant to the patient’s case.
Dr. Neil Minkoff, now chief medical officer at EmpiraMed, is one of many who believe in the value of comparing notes on clinical challenges and experiences. He recalls when he first heard of a cure for hepatitis C. “We had active discussions about which patients would benefit from the treatment, and it went beyond just what to do with a positive result. We even shared experiences about how to discuss coverage options with health plans.” The “we” refers to fellow clinicians outside the walls of Minkoff’s practice, within his Skipta community.
Healthcare isn’t one-size-fits-all and community members embrace the role of collaborator, assessing cases and sharing information that might be helpful to fellow clinicians. Interactions with other professionals not only reinforce existing clinical knowledge, but also enable members to see things from different viewpoints.