Is I.T. Getting Between You and Your Patients?

Whether you are a Doctor or a Patient, you’ve probably noticed the effect that computerized health records and computerized medical exams have had on your experience in the examination room. I’ve even noticed it in Healthcare Information Technology as we document issues and plan for remediation. We’re all kind of stuck in our phones and computers these days. And for good reason. Use of this technology is working to reduce errors, make information more readily available, and improve outcomes.

Here’s some quick tips to ensure your patient or customer is still feeling valued while capturing vital information.

  • Always engage the patient or customer first. Look them in the eye and begin the conversation before utilizing technology.
  • Describe how you are using the technology as it relates to what they’ve already said or the additional information you are gathering.
  • Confirm Information with them as you enter it. This verifies the information again before it is captured and helps foster a feeling of participation.
  • Give the patient or customer something to think on or do while waiting on the input to take place. This can even be accomplished with signage in the room.
  • You can always express the benefits of the system and acknowledge the perceived detractors, like the loss of some direct engagement. People are willing to sacrifice more readily if they understand the upsides.

You can also put some consideration into the physical layout of the computer systems. Turning your back on patients or customers completely may not be the best way of maintaining engagement and can be considered less thoughtful.

The net result, is that the technology is here and everyone is growing more accustomed to it, but they’ll always be more receptive to interacting with you, directly.

– Written By Brian Prete

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