Pediatricians are shadowing their patients' attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder symptoms with a web-based disease monitoring and management system called eDMC (the electronic Developmental Medicine Center).
By Eugenia Chan
This is how it used to be when I saw a child with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder: “You know, Dr. Chan, I really don’t think the medicine’s working,” the parent would tell me. “I just don’t see any difference in his behavior.”
“Well, the medicine has probably worn off by the time you see him at home,” I’d say. “What does his teacher think?”
“She hasn’t called me, so I assume there hasn’t been any trouble.” Then: “Oh — I was supposed to give her that questionnaire to fill out, wasn’t I? I’m so sorry, I totally forgot.”
As a developmental-behavioral pediatrician specializing in ADHD, I used to have this conversation with parents at almost every single follow-up visit, leaving me frustrated.
While parent questionnaires are important, I also need information from teachers, because school hours are when the medication is most likely to be effective. So my picture of how the child was doing at school would remain incomplete.
Unfortunately, differing schedules and privacy issues with regular email made it a challenge to get information directly from teachers. So I’d have to rely on parents to give the ADHD questionnaires to the teachers, and hope to get them back in time to make medical decisions at the child’s visit.
That’s all changed. Now, for nearly all of my ADHD patients, I have the questionnaires in hand before the visit, completed by parents and teachers at their convenience using a new web-based disease monitoring and management system called eDMC (the electronic Developmental Medicine Center).
Instead of spending most of the visit trying to gather routine information about medications and symptoms, I can spend more time making sure the child understands why he or she is taking medicine, discussing how to manage school, homework, peers and siblings, and helping families find joy in parenting a child with ADHD.