SpearFysh addresses the communication challenges facing clinical teams when sharing complex information with patients and each other.

As either a patient or family member, most of us have received hospital discharge instructions and a stack of papers from a nurse as we are preparing to go home. In a 20-30 minute conversation, we are told in detail what we are supposed to do regarding medications, incision care, diet, follow-up visits, rehab, when to call the hospital, and more.

When we are asked if we understand everything that was communicated to us, we may ask a question or two, but usually simply say, “Yes”. Once we get home, it’s a different story. Where is the paper with the instructions for incision care? How often do I change the dressing? Didn’t the nurse give different instructions than what’s on the sheet? What medications am I taking, and which am I no longer taking? When is my first follow-up visit? What can I eat and when?

Furthermore, if someone who was not part of the discharge planning conversation wants to help, or if a family member across the country wants to know what was said, we have limited capability to communicate beyond the stack of papers and whatever we remembered of the 20-30 minute discharge conversation.

SpearFysh is a significantly better way to communicate and share information with patients, their families, and caregivers.

With SpearFysh, the nurse uses a tablet to record the conversation with the patient, follows a checklist of topics to discuss, shares annotated documents, handouts and notes, and tags key pieces of information for the patient to remember.

The completed conversation, along with related notes, documents and data are automatically uploaded to the SpearFysh Cloud, which can connect to the EMR and Patient Portal. The patient can review the conversation on a smartphone, tablet, or computer and quickly jump to key moments or specific sections of the conversation.

If the patient has a question about incision care, they simply tap “Incision Care” and are taken to the relevant location in the audio. They can also tap to review any notes, drawings, or annotations and watch them appear on the screen along with the synchronized audio.

Finally, a link to the conversation can be shared with other family members and caregivers so they can listen to the entire conversation, review all the notes, and access all of the included documents.

In a study of 395 patients, (95.6%) reported understanding the reason they had been in the hospital, but only 218 patients (59.6%) were able to accurately describe their diagnosis in postdischarge interviews.

JAMA Intern Med. 2013;173(18):1715

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