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Modified SOAP Ups Student Awareness of Health Care Costs

Modification of traditional SOAP presentation to include discussion of value helps medical students

MONDAY, Oct. 5, 2015 (HealthDay News) — Modification of the traditional Subjective-Objective-Assessment-Plan (SOAP) presentation to consider value (SOAP-V) can help medical students learn to practice high-value, cost-conscious care, according to a study published online Sept. 28 in the Journal of Hospital Medicine.

In an effort to promote discussion of high-value, cost-conscious patient care, Eileen M. Moser, M.D., from the Milton S. Hershey Medical Center in Pennsylvania, and colleagues modified the traditional SOAP presentation to include a discussion of value. The SOAP-V model prompts students to contemplate the evidence that supports a test or treatment; patient preferences and values; and the costs associated with a given test/treatment compared with alternatives. The tool was successfully implemented in three medical schools. During patient care rounds, the students reported their findings to the team.

The researchers found that based on preliminary results, students trained in SOAP-V felt more empowered to address the economic health care crisis. In addition, they reported being more comfortable starting discussions relating to value of care and were more likely to think about potential costs to the health care system.

“We envision that the SOAP-V is a tool by which ideas concerning high-value care can be generated and shared at the point of care,” the authors write. “It is our hope that this straightforward intervention is one that may slowly change the culture and perhaps eventually the practice patterns of our academic medical centers.”

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