Friday, September 28, 2007

Reinventing the wheel, changing habits & time management in the first months after implementation: challenge

Because the UK service we are basing our model on is no longer operational following the retirement of its librarian, we are in essence reinventing a structure we know exists but do not have the blueprints for. Much of the first months have been spent dealing with the practicalities of setting up the service, establishing policies and procedures, and promoting the service to health care, administrative and support staff as well as to patients.

One of the biggest challenges has been to get health care staff into the habit of referring patients to me. It is my hope that the cases presented here will help. For now I have given the following guidelines:

When to use the service:
  • Anytime anything is new (i.e. treatment, diagnosis, medication etc.)
  • When more information would help your patient make a decision
  • When you’ve been asked for more info but don’t have time to provide it
  • When info is needed in a language other than English and French
  • When info is needed at an easier reading level
**** do not discount patients you suspect have low literacy****

I am only on site 7 hours per week and this is problematic because I am not always immediately present to fill prescriptions. This will necessitate that those needing my services be prepared to make appointments for a later date and/or to send me their request by phone or email. It has taken some time to establish me in the system so that patients can make appointments to see me with their team coordinators. It is only this week that this has become possible. in the meantime I had asked that referrals be left for me in my mailbox. I have received my first referrals (yellow InfoRx sheets torn from the pads I had printed) in the past two weeks. I have left messages for patients and made contact with one: my first appointment is on Oct. 1st, this coming Monday.

Since I do not yet have cases to present I will instead describe a few I have handled in the past several months at the Library's Patient and Family Resource Centre (PFRC)- see next post.

No comments: