Fighting vague and imprecise answers when measuring the quality of care – GoTreatIT software creates visual overview of already completed or ongoing treatment, including effects or adverse reactions to it.
“Is it sufficient to ask how are you doing?”
Professor Theodore Pincus, USA
”Clinicians may all too easily spend years writing ”doing well” in the notes of a patient who has become progressively crippled before their eyes.”
Verna Wright, Leeds, UK 1983
More than 13 years back, when Glenn Haugeberg started his work as a specialist in rheumatology at the Hospital of Southern Norway (Sørlandet Sykehus), he realised that he needed an information and communication (ICT) tool to systematically measure the effects of medical treatment. When asking patients how they felt, he could receive such answers as “better than yesterday”, which were too vague and imprecise.
The company DiaGraphIT was established in 2004 and developed the GoTreatIT® ICT products in close cooperation with clinicians. The aim was to measure the quality of patient care. The company has for over 12 years offered the GoTreatIT® software on the healthcare market, which is specifically designed to improve cooperation between therapist and patients. Using GoTreatIT®, patients can enter health information into the software, allowing health professionals to get a visual overview of already completed or ongoing treatment, and effects or adverse reactions to it. Experience shows that this systematic approach frees up resources, improves the quality of treatment and facilitates the administrative work. The GoTreatIT® solutions have been shown to bring real value to both clinics and patients, especially those patients with chronic diseases.
Value for the patients
Current documentation systems for patients can have an idea of conveying health problems and side effects of medication, but without these being recorded in a systematic or uniform manner. The same applies to experienced quality of life, but without these being documented/recorded in a systematic manner. Thus, patients may be at risk of receiving ineffective treatment or treatment with side effects, but without correction. Patients therefore need to know that relevant information about their health status and medical treatment is recorded and documented in a systematic manner. Patients want increasingly to participate in their own health and wellbeing. In the GoTreatIT® products, patients register data about themselves. The clinicians then get an overview of patient-reported health status in relation to the medical treatment given, with an intuitive user interface and data graphically displayed on time graphs. The GoTreatIT® products are used in the patient – clinician dialogue, allowing patients to better understand their own health, their medical treatment and the effects of it. Patient’s perception of, for example, physical function, pain and fatigue is captured more easily and may thus help to adjust medication dosage. In addition, all real-life data can be included in research such as quality studies.
Value for clinicians and health personnel
Today it is difficult to get a quick overview of any given treatment and the effects or side effects of it. This results in wasted resources, lost treatment quality and hampered administrative management of important end-points in relation to health. The GoTreatIT® products provide a quick overview of the patient’s medical history, a quick overview of the effects and side effects in relation to medical treatment, so that clinicians can easily stop the drugs that do not work, have side effects, or change the dosage. The focus is to support the diagnosis and medical treatment and to improve quality of care. GoTreatIT® provides a more integrated understanding of the patient and at the same time makes it easier to keep track of any given treatment. An important criterion for this success is that the collection of patient data does not increase the workload for clinicians as the software is largely integrated into daily clinical practice. With national quality registers, the documentation requirement for healthcare will increase further. In rheumatology, registry data is coordinated so that hospitals can use the GoTreatIT® solution for registry data which is then transported to the national registry databases. This is done as part of their clinical work and avoids having to deal with an online web-based system or paper-based solution that requires additional logins, is laborious and does not really provide much value in daily clinical care. This allows data collection for “registering and benchmarking” to be performed in one workflow.
Research and quality registers
Research/quality control on existing clinical record systems is very time-consuming. When the answers are available, the data is already obsolete and findings have limited value in everyday life. The GoTreatIT® system serves as a practical scientific research tool on quality. Since all patient data is structured, researchers and clinicians will be able to carry out research across all patients, as opposed to a limited range of for example 5-10 % of patients. Research on “reality-based medicine” is made considerably easier. The 90-95 % of patients that we currently do not get systematised information on we will be able to collect in the future. Research requires the consent of patients, and the handling of consent is embedded in the GoTreatIT (R) solution. Society and the pharmaceutical industry need real data to really follow up the longitudinal effects of their products in order to constantly improve the benefits of their medication.
GoTreatIT® for the future
The company is constantly innovating as a part of our daily work. We are working in close cooperation with researchers, both on ICT and clinical research. We want to take the vision a big step further by giving patients 100% control and monitoring of their disease status, treatment and impact. Patients will at any time be able to report into the solution, see their disease status and follow their own disease progression. It will also let relatives and other stakeholders access important disease data presented in a visually understandable way. The built-in warning systems intend to provide increased safety for patients. This applies both to reminders about medication and when disease parameters fall outside the limits. GoTreatIT® Cloud solutions intend to further strengthen the relationship between patient and health, as well as to promote good communication and accurate documentation. Inclusion of connected sensors in our solutions is a part of this intention.
Professor Glenn Haugeberg, MD, Phd
Inventor Head of Rheumatology
Department Martina Hansen Hospital
Tone Speilberg Birkenes
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