A few years ago I read a quote that said something like “people are the CEO of their health, and doctors are just consultants.” I believe that wholeheartedly. That concept is now front and center in Sherpaa. Our doctors have a plan for you, but you’re the one who needs to believe in it and make it happen. Today, Sherpaa launched a new version of our app that takes our app from just a messaging platform to a messaging platform + project management tool for patients complete with to-do’s and structured bots within cases to help you understand and approve your doctor’s plans for you.
Medical issues are problems to be solved. The vast majority of the problem is solved by patients implementing their doctor’s plan. Medical problems have structure to them. They have labs to be done, medications to take, referrals to specialists to go to, etc. Open-ended conversations between doctors and patients is the foundation for communicating the problem to be solved. But, structuring the problem and the solution with to-do’s, educational tidbits about the order, and the ability for patients to approve or deny orders creates clarity and efficiency.
When healthcare is communicated within the confines of an oral conversation in an exam room, people forget 85% of what their doctor says. How can we expect our patients to be “compliant” with our orders when we’re only 15% effective at communicating? Also, when we order something for our patients, we’re handing them an order and expecting them to do what we say without them fully understanding the order and its value to their health. When you give patients a say in every order to either approve the order or deny it like we did today with Sherpaa’s app, it allows patients to understand the value of the order and approve it or deny it. If they understand it, see its value and how it realistically fits into their lives, they can approve the order. But they can also deny it if they don’t believe it’ll work, it won’t fit into their lifestyle, or they can’t afford it. This enables our doctors to construct a new plan with the patient’s input that gets the patient on board to get their health in order. This is what we at Sherpaa call “compliance.” It puts the patient in the driver’s seat because the patient is the one that has to do all the work.