Review of Systems
For Doctors and Patients
Matthew Katz, MD
Patients need useful health information
Want it from health care providers
Often easier to find online than to get from doctor
Medical jargon always creates barriers
~72% of U.S. adults went online for health information
*Source: Pew Internet, http://bit.ly/1lZnCAY
Doctors want patients to get correct health
Online resources often not trusted
Frustrated when precious time focuses on
Incorrect or exaggerated information
Peripheral issues distracting from main concern
Both of us need help!
Patients should feel that doctors
Doctors should feel that patients
Do trust them
Too much time and energy wasted
Patient-doctor relationship damaged
Solution – Start With…
Medical history that includes reviewing
systems and screening for other possible
Identifying patients’ learning styles and needs
Health Information Review of Systems
Allows doctors to
Assess what patients value
Assess how patients learn and retain information
Correct habits of gathering online information
Educate about effective learning habits
Identify and suggest reliable online health resources
Questions to Ask
Where do you get health information?
For focused health problem, make it specific (e.g.
What kind online health information have you
Google or another search engine
Health information websites (static, non-interactive)
Health-oriented social networks
Health self-tracking websites, apps or devices
How do you access online health information?
Desktop, laptop, smartphone?
Why seek health information online or off?
Helps identify patient’s key values/concerns re: health
and health decisions
Helps define role
How do you learn best: see or hear or do?
Care about how patients learn
Identify more effective ways to get health information
Identify counterproductive learning habits
Opportunity to educate patient about better resources
Discover new resources to help other patients
What doctors should have ready
Inventory of information provided (e.g.
List of reliable, credible online resources plus
cautions about what to avoid
What patients should have ready
Learning priorities and concerns
Which online resources currently being used
What kinds of online resources work best
Patients deserve accurate, useful health
Doctors should be able to share health
information effectively and efficiently.
Talking about online health information early
on helps ensure a healthier, more productive
relationship between doctors and patients.