USE IT to Create Patient-Relation Management for Multiple Sclerosis Patients
Margreet B. Michel-Verkerke (University of Twente, The Netherlands), Roel W. Schuring (University of Twente, The Netherlands) and Ton A.M. Spil (University of Twente, The Netherlands)
Copyright: © 2008
Patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) visit various healthcare providers during the course of their disease. It was suggested that information and communication technology might help to orchestrate their care provision. We have applied the USE IT tool to get insight in the relevant problems, solutions, and constraints of MS care both in the organizational and the information-technological area. There is hardly a chain of healthcare, but rather, a network in which informal communication plays an important role. This informal network worked reasonably effective, but it was inefficient and slow. The MS patient count is small for most care providers. Patients thought that a lack of experience caused their major problems: insufficient and inadequate care. To improve care, we proposed a solution that combines an MS protocol, the introduction of a central coordinator of care and a patient-relation management (PRM) system. This is a simple Web-based application based on an agreement by the caregivers that supports routing, tracking, and tracing for an MS patient and supplies the caregivers with professional guidelines. It is likely that we would have suggested a far more complicated ICT solution if we had only analyzed the MS care process as such without specific consideration of the dimensions in the USE IT tool.