‘Door Consultvoorbereiding Blijft Er Meer Tijd Over Om De Diepte In Te Gaan’

‘It saves time when patients take on certain care tasks themselves’

April 2023 ● 5 mins reading time

By: Quin

With ten minutes per consultation, time with the patient is finite. As a GP, you therefore want to use this limited time as effectively as possible. Dayenne Ubachs, Medical Consultant at Quin, explains how symptom checkers can play a role in this by doing part of the anamnesis beforehand.

As a GP, you know how helpful it can be when patients come well-prepared to their appointments, such as when they arrive with a list of their questions in hand, maintain comprehensive headache diaries or keep track of their blood pressure at home. Such preparations are very valuable because patients do not walk out the door feeling some questions have gone unaddressed. And because conversations are easier when patients themselves have already discovered certain patterns in their symptoms.

Better quality appointments

At Quin, we offer appointment preparation, and we take it a step further. When a patient has complaints, they fill in our symptom checker and, based on their answers, receive a differential diagnosis with its corresponding urgency and contact options. They are also given additional information about their specific situation so they can properly prepare for any appointments. Not only does this give the patient a chance to think in advance about any questions they may have, but it also allows the appointment to go in depth faster.

More time to go in depth

Thanks to the symptom checker, GPs can also better prepare for appointments. This is because patients can share their symptom report with you in advance, letting you know what their symptoms are and what differential diagnosis came out of the symptom checker. In that way, part of the anamnesis is already done. Patients are also explicitly asked what their request for help is. This makes what the patient is struggling with clear and more quickly, which creates space for valuable time during the appointment. This extra time makes it possible for you to go more into their personal circumstances, such as by also inquiring into how someone is feeling mentally. The opportunity to explore the patient’s situation creates more room for person-centred care and shared decision-making.

Greater confidence in diagnosis

That GPs see the added value of appointment preparation is evident in the results of a recent study at an Amsterdam GP practice. There, thirty-seven video consultations by seven experienced GPs were analysed. Eighty-four per cent of the GPs agreed that the additional information helped them during the appointment. In a third of the appointments, GPs felt that the symptom-checker report contributed to the doctor-patient conversation. Seventy-eight per cent of the GPs found the symptom checker’s differential diagnosis useful, and twenty-eight per cent felt supported by it when it came to their own diagnosis. Ultimately, of course, this is only supportive. In the end, the diagnosis always remains in the hands of GPs. They know their patients. For low-complexity questions, however, it does save time: time that can then be spent on better and personalised care.

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About Quin

Good, accessible healthcare, now and in the future, is essential. Quin contributes by supporting every step in the care process with digital tools. This gives professionals more space for patients and enables patients to take more control of their own health.