In collaboration with Hill Country Health and Wellness Center, we created a very different version of the Patient-Prescriber Agreement (also called a Controlled Substance Wellness Agreement), one that is designed to help patients slow down, reflect, and record questions and notes to discuss with their provider. Our process included relationship-building through multiple site visits, benchmarking via a provider survey and discussions, analysis of findings (e.g. mapping patient experiences and document flow at Hill Country), literature reviews, content development, iterative prototyping, user testing, and revision. We focused on how the specific needs, constraints, and opportunities at Hill Country might be addressed in the patient-centered content and design of the PPA. This includes chunking information into manageable sections, creating a strong information hierarchy, clearly calling out key points, and providing a quick-read zone and space to jot down questions. Content is written in plain language with a welcoming tone.
The new PPA was implemented at Hill Country clinics in Redding and Round Mountain beginning in fall 2016. We are now testing it in a quasi-experimental study to determine if the redesign does, in fact, have the intended effects. The ongoing study involves research, development, and design of a patient survey, assessment methods, development of IRB protocols, and, at Hill Country, a workshop presenting the study plan and a training session for clinic staff. We have collected 75 patient surveys and are currently analyzing the results.
While the PPA is one artifact, it represents a larger system of patient communication tools we are developing with Hill Country and has led to partnering with them on efforts to extend the project to as many as 14 counties in California.
Contact us to use the Controlled Substance and Wellness Agreement under a Creative Commons license and adapt it to your local needs.