The traditional physician-patient interaction in the clinical setting is governed by a set of attributes, behaviour or communication skills called “bedside manners”. Studies have shown that bedside manners ultimately affect delivery of care. The entry of information technology into actual patient-physician interaction clearly changes too the clinical setting. Perhaps this is an opportune moment for examining how effective a physician’s manners are in the light of information technology or maybe, we need to expand our concept of manners.
As a physician I have my armamentarium of healthcare tech to help ease out the burden of practice, but have none to unburden my patient’s charade. This often bear much on my decision to order (or not) a diagnostic procedure, a referral, a prescription or even follow up. Patient’s rarely comply because, as a matter fact it takes more than just the patient to go though this burden. Not even us physicians. We can cry foul, or technology sucks. But patients, they rarely have..
So patient centric healthcare technology anyone?
Some of these HITs (EMR, CPOE) have been shown to reduce medical errors by up to 80%, prescription errors by up to 55%. While HIT has the potential to reduce utilization of healthcare, investing in HIT is not cheap so far. The main challenges are investing cost and resources.