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By Kent L. Christopher, MD RRT FCCP FAARC, AARC Board of Medical Advisors
Download the Patient-Centric Collaborative Care Model (see pg 16). Advances in science and technology are contributing to an expanding, integrated and strong global medical community. Electronic information is being shared though e-journal publications, webcasts, videoconferencing and other internet-based technology to support the global medical community. National and international medical societies are engaging physicians and other clinicians from around the world, while international congresses are also drawing professionals who travel great distances to educate and learn. In addition, multi-national and multi-center clinical trials are helping to define evidence-based medicine, while gatherings of internationally recognized experts are critically reviewing evidence-based studies and establishing recommendations for international diagnosis and management guidelines.
Technology and the internet are also enhancing patient care and processes. Some patients now have secure access to certain information in their electronic medical record. Medical professionals are remotely interfacing with patients or directing their care, and telemedicine and telehealth initiatives are growing rapidly. The software and hardware currently under development will also strive to facilitate remote delivery of care through patient monitoring technology.
Clearly, with the help of technology, the science of medicine is growing rapidly within the global medical community. However, there is a science and an art to optimally practicing medicine. A focus on the science and technology without balancing it with art of the interpersonal encounter will lead to an “unhealthy” global medical community. Patients must feel connected to “healthcare professionals” that are “caring health professionals”. The Patient-Centric Collaborative Care Model was designed to strengthen that connection and can be applied to individuals with chronic respiratory disease. The Model embraces patients as team members and empowers them with the appropriate level of self-care. Education, monitoring and support can optimize health, control symptoms and minimize non-adherence to the treatment plan. To read more on the Patient-Centric Collaborative Care Model see the entire six chapter American Association for Respiratory Care Monograph on this topic.
Dr. Christopher, Guest Columnist for this issue, is Clinical Professor of Medicine, University of Colorado School of Medicine, and has published over 100 professional articles. He has served on the Board of Trustees of the National Board for Respiratory Care (NBRC), the Respiratory Care Network of the American College of Chest Physicians (ACCP) & on the Board of Directors for the National Association for Medical Direction of Respiratory Care (NAMDRC). Dr. Christopher is very interested in supporting international collaboration and advances in respiratory care and has served on the AARC Board of Medical Advisors for 14 years twice having been elected Chairman.