You've heard it before. "We don't want to come between you and your patient." Sure, sometimes it's true. Too often though the technology being offered is cumbersome, not user friendly, and doesn't have the provider-patient relationship at its core. As a provider, your focus should be on the patient and their immediate and long-term needs. Technology in healthcare, as important as it is, shouldn't be responsible for creating a barrier between the provider and patient. This is the exact opposite of what should be happening. Healthcare technology should bring two parties together, not pull them apart. So the big question: How can we fix it?Do Some Research
This one is obvious, right? Just as you might look at a restaurants before you eat there, you should take a hard look at vendors before deciding to work with them. Ask questions like: "How is this going to help me and my practice?" "Am I going to be spending more of my time learning how to use this instead of with patients?" Providers will often jump at technology or software they know they need, but without doing a thorough vetting beforehand. Don't take the risk of ending up with a vendor that you will feel burned by down the road.
Understand the Relationship Between Technology and Healthcare
As mentioned above, don't jump into something blindly. Understand what it is you're looking for and how it can positively affect your patients and practice. New developments in data analytics, for example, have given providers never before seen insight into patient health. Rather than being reactionary, providers can use predictive measures to determine the best medical path to take that will yield the best outcome. The patient and their health should always be the primary focus. Technology, to a degree, is just another way to simplify each encounter and ensure that each patient is receiving the best quality care possible.
Know Where Technology is Heading
It's one thing to have a grasp on the current state of healthcare technology. It's something else entirely to understand where it's going. The quick and short answer to that would seemingly be AI, but that's no guarantee. Looking at technology, how it relates to the patient now, and how it will change encounters moving forward is the key to providing better care. Imagine, a 3D image popping out of a screen from a CT scan showing a patient's tissue or organs that can easily be manipulated. Well, that's actually already a reality. But it illustrates exactly where healthcare technology is heading.
The Patient Priority
Healthcare technology is improving the patient experience. It's hard to argue against it. With so much at provider's fingertips, caring for the patient has never been easier or more efficient. Technology should never come between the patient and provider. It should simply be a bridge that connects the two through more efficient means. The key is to continue to innovate without sacrificing the whole point of being a provider: caring for and healing the patient.