In healthcare, the relationship between patient and provider cannot be overstated. Therefore, there has been a lot of recent interest from medical technology companies looking to strengthen this therapeutic alliance.
Trust and understanding are central to the patient-physician relationship, regardless of circumstances surrounding the encounter, whether a long-established relationship or a single interaction. The way information is exchanged between patients and providers is very important. Patients who are at ease and encouraged to talk openly are more likely to disclose any underlying issues that may be relevant for their treatment by a physician. A compassionate approach can go a long way in aiding a patient’s recovery. Medical applications have the potential to improve the information exchange by enhancing communication, encouraging patient engagement and ensuring the accuracy of relevant knowledge.
Another stress on patient-provider relationships is the time constraint of each appointment. During medical consultations, patients commonly complain that they feel like they are “being hurried.” Additionally, doctors frequently cite a “lack of time” as a reason for not being able to address the psychosocial concerns of patients. With the increasing workload and bureaucracy that face physicians these days, the amount of time that he or she can spend with a patient is often very limited. Therefore, medical innovators are tasked with optimizing that appointment time. Ideally, more efficient time management would make a single patient-visit more productive, to create better health outcomes.
A third issue that can place a strain on the patient-physician relationship is the increasing expectations and demands of patients. Patients want more information and they want to be diagnosed and treated quickly. Patients expect doctors to act in their best interests, to advocate for them and to keep them motivated in living a healthy lifestyle. They want and need greater accessibility to healthcare. In the United Kingdom, the healthcare system is currently struggling with the number of patients coming into the emergency departments because of the lack of out-of-hours-care available. Also, in the United States, the costs of health insurance limits access to appropriate healthcare for many citizens. Furthermore, patients want better-coordinated care, meaning a greater collaboration effort between providers [such as physicians, drug makers, etc…] While the increasing demands and expectations may be stressful for healthcare providers, it is important to remember that such challenges are driving the need for a more efficient healthcare system.
With this series of articles, I will explore how medical innovation companies address the challenges that face healthcare by improving and enriching the central important patient-provider relationship. Along the way, I will outline several Health 2.0 tools, including technologies that look to improve the in-office experience and also post-discharge practices. Ultimately, I will discuss how both clinicians and patients can utilize medical applications together to ensure best medical practice with regards to key issues in patient-provider relationships like communication, time and expectations.
I am an eighteen-year old medical applicant living in London, UK. I am greatly fascinated by the art of medicine and it's ability to transform lives. Through writing, I hope to develop a better understanding of what it takes to become a competent and compassionate physician, who is able to practice good medicine.In this current day, it is apparent that 'big data' is revolutionising healthcare and through my interests in programming and medicine, I hope to make a contribution to this fast-pace growing movement of digital health.In my gap year, along with writing for the MedTech Boston, I am also working in hospitals, volunteering for charitable organisations and travelling across the globe.
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