New Question Builder App Helps Patients Prepare for Medical Visits

Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality

NewYork. 12th March, 2019. The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality
(AHRQ) (A body under U.S. Department of Health & Human Services)
today launched a new mobile app to help patients be more engaged in their own
healthcare. The Question Builder app, available at no charge for smartphones,
tablets, and laptop computers on iTunes and Google Play, helps patients prepare
and organize questions and other helpful information prior to medical visits.

App dedicated
to improving patient safety and quality in healthcare

The Question
Builder app is the latest consumer resource from AHRQ, the Federal agency
dedicated to improving patient safety and quality in healthcare. Based on
content from an online tool that is part of AHRQ’s long-running Questions Are
the Answer public education campaign, the Question Builder app was developed
with input from consumers and clinicians. Consumers liked the ability to have
questions and other information at their fingertips during medical visits,
while doctors, nurses, and other clinicians said that better prepared patients
would lead to more effective and efficient visits and potentially more accurate
diagnoses and better outcomes.

“AHRQ’s new question builder app helps
patients and providers get the most out of each and every patient visit by
using information to achieve the best outcomes for patients,” said AHRQ
Director Gopal Khanna, M.B.A. “As Department of Health and Human Services
Secretary Alex Azar has made clear, we must create a healthcare system that
pays for value. Nothing is more valuable than maximizing the time patients and
providers spend together.”

The Question
Builder app allows users to input details of their upcoming appointments, such
as date and reason for the visit. Users then choose questions they want to ask
their doctor, starting with a list to prompt them with questions that are
common in different situations. Questions can be customized to fit individual
needs. Users can email information to themselves or others for reference
through the app and can use it to make notes during the medical visit. Other
features include:

Content and
questions organized by type of medical encounter, such as medical visit
or preparing for surgery.

Consumer education materials and videos about the importance of asking questions and sharing information.

Health News

A camera
option that allows users to document visual information such as a skin rash,
upload insurance or prescription medication information, and other
photo-enabled features.

Information
entered into the Question Builder app resides on the user’s own device. The
content is accessible via phone, tablet, or laptop computer on both the iOS and
Android operating systems.

Research has
demonstrated that diagnoses and outcomes are best when patients are active
members of the healthcare team. “Patients can get better care by preparing to
ask questions about their care and communicating effectively with their
doctors, nurses, and other providers,” said Jeff Brady, M.D., who directs
AHRQ’s Center for Quality Improvement and Patient Safety. “Asking questions to
make sure patients understand instructions and other aspects of their care can
help reduce the chance of missed diagnoses, identify the right tests that are
needed, and avoid unnecessary hospital stays,” he explained.

With most U.S. medical visits averaging 20 minutes or less, the Question Builder app helps patients maximize the value of the time they have with their healthcare providers.The Question Builder app is being released in conjunction with Patient Safety Awareness Week, an annual health observance sponsored by the Institute for Healthcare Improvement intended to encourage everyone to learn more and remain vigilant about healthcare safety.

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