Today’s society has succumbed to the pressures of technology. Nowadays, it’s nearly impossible to have a real conversation with someone, especially if they are busy texting or swiping left. The problem is all-too-prevalent, even within the healthcare IT sector.
What we’re experiencing is an absence of real human connection and communication— between patients and caregivers across the board. Often physicians, nurse practitioners, and other medical professionals spend too much time logging information and looking at displays on EMR systems—instead of giving the patient some much-needed face-to-face time.
Though Automated Vitals, Televised Patient Care Instructions, Barcode Med Charting, and tablets for order entry and results review are all beneficial technologies permitting physicians to see more patients per day and make fewer medical errors over the long haul—patients may suffer from decreased human interaction as a result of these same innovations.
The emergence of such modernizations within healthcare IT, unfortunately, creates an environment where clinicians are more focused on reading and documenting the patient’s health into a device than they are talking WITH the patient about their health.
Often, healthcare professionals are given more tasks to take care of every day, further reducing face time with patients. While this technology is meant to make life simpler for clinicians, it is often pulling these specialists in many different directions.
Every project team member during an EMR implementation should consider human influence when installing or maintaining a system. When we manage EMR projects, we recommend the addition of a “Patient Experience” team to the project and recommend that any in-room monitors should be positioned so clinicians can face the patient.
We also recommend educating your doctors and clinicians on how to interact with their patients WHILE utilizing technology in their presence. This applies to iPads, phones, portable diagnostics, rolling and wall-mounted workstations, and all other electronic tools. They should first explain to the patient that they are going to pull up their latest results, or enter an order for a new test—so the patient is clear on what is happening.
Atlanticon is always available to discuss strategies with regard to making your patients feel a part of his/her medical experience. If you’d like assistance setting up a Patient Experience Team, please reach out to us at Business.Services@Atlanticon.net.