Cooperating for better care.

News & Views

Pelzman: Better After Visit Summary needed

Share this:


Fred N. Pelzman, M.D., internist and columnist, calls the current version of the  “Meaningful Use” requirement of an After Visit {to physician} Summary for patients a waste of time and trees.

The After Visit Summary collects data from within the EHR and the encounter, and prints it out in tabular format,  for patients to take home. “More paper, more trees being killed. Unclear benefit to the patient,” he says.

Dr. Pelzman asserts that “Not much thought went into creating the needed functionality to make it a really useful thing in the first place. ” And he says that most patients don’t look at the form.

However, he says “{The} potential exists to create a truly useful After Visit Summary that helps our patients move their health along the trajectory we planned during our office visit together.”

If the document  “actually contained living, actionable information, links to what they should do about aspects of their health, ways to refill their medicines or tell us they’ve stopped them, links to the orders in the system so that they can see the results when they come back, reminders that pop up on their smartphone to tell them to put into play the activities that were recommended during the office visit. A mutually agreed on summary of what we had talked about in the visit, what I and they thought, and what I and they planned to do next.”


Contact Info

(617) 230-4965

Wellesley, Mass