Testing a More Streamlined Way to Screen Patients?

INSIGHT
November 7, 2017

To simplify the process of screening patients before they make a trip to The Johns Hopkins Hospital or Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center, neurosurgeon Nick Theodore is working to customize existing software to gather and consolidate all of a patient’s information in one place.

Traditionally, surgeons may need to review emails, imaging reports, electronic medical records and notes from different systems to obtain all of the information they need to decide which patients would benefit from an in-person consultation.

With this new system, patients will be prompted to complete a minutes-long, streamlined process via a website to provide their medical history and upload medical images. The neurosurgeons will then be able to access all of the information in one place to make a recommendation.

“When we review the MRI and history, we can make a decision whether we need to see the patient in person,” Theodore explains. “Over the course of a lifetime, most people will experience lower back pain but the percentage of those who need surgery for it is very small.”

For patients who would not benefit from surgery, referrals are made to specialists in areas such as physical therapy and neuropsychology. “At that point, it’s a matter of getting the patient to the right doctor,” says Theodore.

This pilot program will be tested at The Johns Hopkins Hospital and Bayview Medical Center with patients seeking care from a spine neurosurgeon. If successful, the program will be implemented across the Department of Neurosurgery.

Ultimately, Theodore hopes to streamline the screening process so patients can quickly get the care they need and feel better sooner.


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