Reliable Route to Functional Status Assessment

June 7, 2010

A simple way to quickly assess a patient's functional status and social network is to ask at some point during the examination, "How did you get here today?"

A simple way to quickly assess a patient's functional status and social network is to ask at some point during the examination, "How did you get here today?" Patients may report that a family member dropped them off, that they took the bus or subway, or that they drove themselves. Their answers provide clues to their cognitive and physical capabilities (eg, the ability to drive a car or navigate a bus route) or to the level of their family and social support (eg, they have someone they can count on to drive them). In addition, patients often appreciate the break from illness-oriented conversation.

-- Michelle Tomes, MD St Paul


 

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