Q: Many people fear that technology will put another layer between them and their physician, while others recognize the opportunity for technology to make healthcare more personal. Who’s right?
A: Both sides can be considered right. Technology, if not used in the right way, can become a barrier to the physician-patient relationship; this happens when provider and provider organizations are ill-equipped to leverage technology to its full advantage. This can take hinder focus on the patient. However, I would also add that in today’s paper-based system, there are arguably just as many barriers to a personalized experience for the patient. With the average physician practice being overrun with any number of inefficiencies and practice management issues.
I see technology as a true success when it helps the physician remove the inefficiencies of running a practice, which in turn provides more time to focus on the care of the patient and ultimately the healthcare outcome. If the right technologies are used in a provider setting, the quality and personalization of care should be improved rather then hindered and in fact that should be one of the objectives in adopting technology. But this requires a real understanding of what technologies should best be leveraged, and when.
–Geeta Nayyar, MD, MBA is Chief Medical Information Officer at PatientPoint. A specialist in rheumatology, Dr. Nayyar maintains an active practice while serving on the medical school faculty at Florida International University and George Washington University.