The reason and motive behind Conception of VitalChecklist
At first, it is the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) that evaluates the students on problem solving, critical thinking, and knowledge of science concepts and principles prerequisite to the study of medicine. Then, the rigorous medical school preclinical courses and clinical rotations followed by USMLE Step 1, USMLE Step 2 Clinical Knowledge, and USMLE Step 2 Clinical Skills exams. Standardized patient grade medical student on USMLE Step 2 CS test before they can become ECFMG certified. This is followed by 2-Day USMLE Step 3 exam during their residency and then by the board examinations. When they start evaluating the real life patients they are graded on HCAHPS/ CGCAHPS score and their scores are displayed on www.hospitalcompare.gov and the reimbursements are calculated accordingly. During the entire process of becoming a physician, they learn with help of checklists, mnemonics and illustrations and after they become a full fledged physicians, they have utilization review committees who have developed guidelines and printed protocols so that they should not forget the core measures and hospitals don’t fall short of benchmarks due to these practitioners misses. Have you gotten a letter from the review committee if the box was not checked?
Similarly physician assistants and nursing exams are not easy. After years of education and training the patients also grade physician assistants and nurses. To memorize critical and key concepts, they use variety of checklists.
Caregivers have spent years and decades to perfect the clinical skills and medical knowledge. They have to do CME’s, maintenance of certification and attend conferences so as to keep medical know-how fresh. Building of new synapses in the neurons is just because of repetition.
However, when it comes to patients we want them to be literate in their disease states in last half an hour of their hospital stay or in those 15 minutes when they see their family doctor. Is this possible? Health literacy is not simply the ability to read. It requires a complex group of reading, listening, analytical, and decision-making skills, and the ability to apply these skills to health situations. We need to move from the health literacy to patient activation where patients can stay on the course even in the stressful conditions.
This can only happen if all the caregivers, family members and patients are on the same page. But, how can we bring the patients on the same page? We not only need world wide web, technology, apps, electronic health records but we want to train our patients in the same and consistent manner as we train medical students.
At Vital Checklist, we have done our best to help patients to understand about their health with the chunking of checklists and illustrations and have used variety of tools for that – free YouTube videos, Communication Box, (iCrush)? T-Shirts, Posters and How To Win Patients Seminars and Workbook?