How Important is Patient-Generated Data?

Nobody can explain to a doctor or a health care provider how the patient is feeling or what they are experiencing other than the patient themselves. Only the person going through the pain can describe its symptoms, its intensity and any other relevant. However, often, the patients are not very keen on going into details of their conditions, which means that family members or other caregivers need to step in. The information that is provided is known as patient-generated health data, defined as: “information that is created, recorded and gathered by the patient themselves or collected from their family and caregivers. A patient may get discharged from the hospital with a clean bill of health, only to be in the hospital again after a few days with the same problem. Unless the doctor figures out what went wrong, he cannot administer the correct treatment. It is therefore important that the patient provide all relevant information regarding their medications, whether they took them on time, their glucose or their blood pressure readings, what they ate, whether they exercised and overall what lifestyle choices they made. Unless the doctor is informed about these details, they wouldn’t know where the problem is originating from, and what to do to treat it. Using patient generated data can be quite useful for treating the patients by: a) It provides the doctor with important information on how the patients were doing between their visits to the doctor. b) It helps to provide information regarding the chronic care management and preventive care management of the patients. c) It also helps the patients to become more responsible for their own health by constantly monitoring their symptoms. d) It helps to provide improvement in the quality of the health care, improve standards and coordination as well as the safety of the patients. e) It also provides cost savings, efficiency and time-saving. f) Many times the doctor’s themselves provide the needed devices to the patients to check their readings when they have the next appointment, for example glucometers to diabetic patients. This way, the doctor’s do not have to rely only on the patient’s side of story but they can also check for themselves.

Patients are becoming responsible

The doctors do not have access to the patient’s life outside their clinics, yet many patients are increasingly becoming careful regarding their own health, and, with the ease provided by technological advancements, they are also able to maintain records of their symptoms in order to provide a better picture to the doctors. There are all sorts of devices available for home use such as the blood sugar monitor, blood pressure monitors, heart tracking devices and other devices through which a patient can find out about their sleep patterns, and their temperatures, which can generate relevant information about their health for the doctors to see. This has led to better care and quicker diagnosis for the patients and eventually improvements in healthcare.

Last words

Patient generated data is quite useful for the advancement of medical and healthcare. This is not possible with the patients verbally remembering the symptoms and their blood pressure or cholesterol readings themselves. The situation can be improved through various technological equipment and devices, which have played a vital role in the improvement of healthcare. Usually, people only go to the doctor if symptoms have progressed, but having a device to wear for monitoring their health would give them an accurate picture before the problem becomes serious. This is the best choice and the ideal way of generating the patient data electronically which can do wonders in the improvement in their health and care.