Is High-Tech a Good Thing in a D.C. Practice?
High-tech tools can create an impersonal atmosphere in the exam room that make patients feel excluded. But this can be overcome as long as you follow these tips to keep the focus on the doctor/patient relationship.
Posted in Risk Management on Wednesday, September 12, 2018
In some ways, high-tech tools have served to create an impersonal atmosphere in the exam room.
Taking notes during the exam or focusing on a screen makes the patient feel excluded. When patients feel like they’re not being listened to, they may not be as open about sharing important things. Then, they may become anxious because their time is up, and they still haven’t shared some important piece of information.
If you choose to use technology in the exam room, let patients know how the technology benefits them by making positive comments like: “I have found gathering your information this way on each visit gives me much a better profile of your health and helps me deliver better care.”
Then, while you’re with patients, show them the screen and use it to keep the conversation moving forward. Tell them what you’re typing and why and show patients updates to their charts based on your discussion. Then, ask if there’s anything else they’d like to add and respond accordingly.
Although high-tech tools can create a barrier in your communication with patients, this can be overcome as long as you remember to keep the focus on the doctor/patient relationship.