To the Editor:
I found your articles on demand management very interesting and timely, especially the one about patient education handouts (“Demand Management: The Patient Education Connection,” September 1998). Recently, I put together a brochure for our family physician group with the primary goal of educating our patients on the scope of family medicine within a predominantly multispecialty organization. The secondary goal was to emphasize our availability and inform patients of our after-hours procedures. This information was included because, with our large number of capitated patients, we are trying to be proactive in the management of ER visits.
We also use computer-generated handouts from other sources on topics such as the expected course of a disease and “when to call” recommendations. Patients have found these to be so helpful that we now use them for nearly every patient encounter. They have the added benefit of not needing to be kept in inventory, which costs money and takes up space, and of being instantly accessible.