Those that read my content regularly will know that I spend a lot of time and energy trying to improve patient communication methods in a variety of ways. Whether that involves using technology to make photography more powerful and efficient or using standardised Oral Hygiene postcards so that delivering better OHI is quicker and easier.
Today I will be revisiting a document I use regularly for complex cases as I have reworked it recently and it has been a long time since I last discussed it so some people may not have seen it. I call it my "Treatment considerations" document.
When I first started treatment planning complex cases I spent a long time creating a printed summary of the patients' situation and potential options that they could take home with them as a reminder. After doing this a few times I realised it would make sense to create a template so that these summaries were both more complete and quicker to create. Over time this template has been added to and amended and the end result is the treatment considerations document.
When a complex case comes up I will do a full exam, take photos and any relevant rads and then normally book a second appointment to present all this information and the relevant treatment plan options. Then before this second appointment I will find a few minutes to revisit the rads and photos and create a problems list, options and treatment plans. This all culminates in a treatment considerations document specific to that pt which gets printed off to accompany the treatment plans and gets incorporated into the pts file as a nice little summary of what has been discussed.
Recent modifications to the document include adding more standard options to choose from (obviously any options not relevant are deleted and often the wording may need minor tweaking for certain cases). I have also added a section about the potential benefits of undergoing this treatment which often involves some elective elements. I have done this following a webinar by Stephen Phelan about case acceptance which is worth checking out.
It may take time to create your template but once that is in place it then becomes really quick to modify it for each case so that you can present a comprehensive document as part of your case presentation and consent process. I am happy for you to use mine as a basis for your own (you can download it via the link below) but please do take the time to carefully consider that you may want to rework chunks of it so that it better matches your own ethos etc.
As always I am sharing this to help others but also because it is often by sharing these ideas that collectively we can improve them. So if you do anything similar or have any thoughts about ways this could be improved further still I would happy to hear any comments.
Dr Chris Harper