Health care is fundamentally about social interactions

One of the better pieces noting the limits of mobile apps and eHealth, and how healthcare is not akin to the normal transactions we do on a day-to-day basis electronically (e.g., travel reservations, banking, shopping). Quote:

The unfulfilled promises of so much of health information technology today (like electronic medical records, personal health records, and patient portals), with some notable exceptions like Kaiser, Group Health and the VA, can be traced directly back to developers not understanding that their job is to enable physician-patient relationships not get in their way or try and replace them.

I don’t consider myself a Luddite when it comes to health information technology, nor would I put most physicians in this category. The health industry is going through massive change, and unfortunately in such time, there is also a lot of false starts and waste that comes from ill-conceived HIT solutions. I suspect that tech vendors that take the time to learn the business that is health care, and commit themselves to improving the physician-patient relationship will do just fine.

The physician-patient relationship remains paramount for us patients. Yes, there are problems. Physicians and patient need to learn to do a better job communicating with one another. But when everything is said and done — when the chips are down — we don’t want to be forced to diagnose and treat ourselves. We want to be able to see and talk with our doctor when we want. And honoring the patient’s perspective after all is what patient-centered care is all about right?

And, by the way, we still want the convenience of being able to go online to schedule an appointment and check out lab tests.

Health care is fundamentally about social interactions.


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