Simple Tools Can Yield Great Results

I currently work on contract to the Alberta Medical Association. My work
as a Change Management resource exposes me to a lot of physicians. Most are my
clients: family doctors, surgeons, and other specialists who need help managing
the change that comes with introducing new office systems.

Occasionally I meet the physicians who are part of the organization that
manages the program that employs me. Yesterday I had the pleasure of meeting
one of our board members who was reviewing the history of the program. As
someone who suffers from a ‘syndromal illness’ I
was struck by his comment that ‘we’ (that is medicine) had figured out causes
and cures for most of the ‘straight forward’ illnesses. And, that now Electronic Medical
(EMR) systems were needed to track and analyze the masses of data
required to track trends and connections and be used for research.

His comment made me think about the fact that what helped my getter better was
the data I gathered about my activities and symptoms. For more than 4 years
I’ve been doing a daily log of sleep, exercise, weather, illness symptoms, GI
symptoms, ENT symptoms, and others. This data has enabled me to see trends and

For example, I recently read an article on the value of Vitamin D and thought
I’d give it a try. The data from 2 trial runs clearly showed that when I took
it I suffered nausea. Without the log I may have made the connection. However,
with the log I was able to make the connection more quickly. By the way, I
talked with a friend who suffers pain and she too had tried Vitamin D and found
she couldn’t tolerate it.

So, yes I can see that getting more data on patients can be a good thing. The
good news is that you don’t have to wait for your doctor or clinic to start
gathering data about you. You can gather data about yourself to help you find
connections — and cures!