I’ll be the first to admit that I love technology that makes my life easier. Whether it’s the GPS on my phone or the app that lets me organize every aspect of my travel, technology has improved my quality of life. And when it comes to making patient care safer, more seamless and engaging, I’m all in. But no matter where technology takes us, we must remain human. By that I mean that nothing will replace empathy, compassion and personal attention.
Earlier this week I was in Vegas at the HIMSS conference where I had the opportunity to see the latest and greatest in health information management tools and technology. I’m impressed by the creativity and determination to use technology to ensure seamless, intelligent care. At the same time, I could see how the caregiver could become distracted by all the information or even burdened by it. It’s important to remember that these are all tools. Tools to provide you with timely information about the patient’s status, the care plan and the history.
It’s my hope that with all the information at a caregiver’s fingertips, he or she has more head space to be fully present for the human in the bed or on the exam table. The nursing profession was founded on a holistic approach to care. It’s always been a combination of head and heart. Now, more medical schools are training students on how to deliver a more engaging patient experience. The result is that the science is balanced with better human interactions.
This is an incredibly exciting time for innovation in healthcare. Let’s not get distracted by shiny objects. In other words, don’t let the technology absorb all your attention. The patient still needs it.