Write it down, read it back

One technique that striked me as a great idea was the check-back method. This involves listening to another medical professional tell you about the patient, preferably in the SBAR format, you jot down the important notes, and then you read the notes back to the dictator.

Previously I had known about teach-back method which involves the patient repeating and paraphrasing the information that you given them. However, I never really thought about writing the information down. The written aspect is so powerful because it helps you to remember better, and it’s a form of traceable documentation.

One anecdote that I thought was very powerful was the one in which the doctor asks the patient, may I record this conversation? The patient agrees, thinking that the doctor wants to make a record to cover his tracks legally. At the end of the meeting however, the doctor takes out the tape from the recorder and hands it to the patient and says, “I know that was a lot of information, and you might not have completely taken it in. Please take this home, listen to it, have your family and friends listen to it, and then let me know if you have any questions.”

What a great example of patient advocacy.