UCSF to Use $117,000 Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Grant to Study Video Doctor Program
The University of California-San Francisco Center for Health Improvement and Prevention Studies has received a $117,000 Robert Wood Johnson Foundation grant to determine whether the center's multimedia patient risk assessment program "could be seamlessly integrated" into primary care. The Video Doctor Risk Adjustment Program, developed to help physicians evaluate the behavior of patients and advise them on their health risks, uses video and audio technology to simulate a physician who asks patients questions about smoking, alcohol consumption and behaviors that may place them at risk for HIV or other sexually transmitted diseases. Patients answer the questions with a "simplified" keyboard, and the Video Doctor offers them personalized advice to help reduce their health risks. The program also provides physicians with intervention strategies for patient health risks. The process takes about 15 minutes. UCSF hopes that the program will improve the quality of health advice patients receive and will allow physicians to provide advice to large groups of patients. UCSF officials said that Spanish speakers, patients at low literacy levels and those with limited computer experience found the Video Doctor "easy to use and accessible" in past tests conducted at UCSF Medical Center and Highland Hospital in Oakland (UCSF release, 5/6).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.