Patient's record - Personal health booklet (7) Health Literacy, digital access by patients to their records and patient activation (6)

26 October, 2021

Dear Dr. Fitton and HIFA friends, it seems to me that the concept of health booklet (HB) is becoming too hard and complicated, this being a way of allowing a good idea to become a nuisance and therefore abandoned.

Now see the following: what do we doctors learn in school regarding in-patient care? we learn to examine the patient and to write what we have found in his/her hospital file, what are the new complaints or symptoms, our impression (diagnose) and finally the therapy. This kind of approach is similar all over the world, in Tanzania as well as in Malesia, for it is taught in schools of Medicine there. The hospital file can be requested anytime by patients, are legal documents belonging to patients and not doctors.

Unfortunately in the same schools we doctors are *not* instructed on how to approach/deal/behave in front of an out-patient. Everybody feels free to act to his best, tendency is to keep records in our computer and to write one or two 'mystical' drugs to be purchased in the pharmacy. Is it a correct practice? No it isn't!, patients have the right (R) to know all details of the medical contact, including the diagnose or suspected diagnose. This in Tanzania, in England and in Malesia.

So simple, so feasible and possible.

It is a matter of changing our behaviour and not the culture of patients. Openness, transparency, communication are the basic of good medicine (M).

Massimo

Dodoma

HIFA profile: Massimo Serventi is a long-standing Pediatrician working in Africa since 1982. He has worked for several NGOs in 6 African/2 Asian countries. His interests include clinical and community pediatrics, adherence to clinical guidelines and school education as the major determinant of good health. massimoser20 AT gmail.com