As physicians, we live in an increasingly patient-centered world. Everything is designed or decided based what works best for the patient — including our healthcare technology.
I am all for the patient-centered care movement. I think the best healthcare happens when healthcare providers focus on the patient as a person.
But I think it’s a movement that’s extended too far into the healthcare technology market. Think about the thousands of healthcare apps and software platforms out there for patients now. The fitness trackers, medicine management apps, dieting logs — these apps are innovative, easy-to-use, and great ways to get patients engaged in their health.
It’s not that I think we shouldn’t have those apps. But why couldn’t we also apply those same easy-to-use, innovative design principles to technology tools for doctors? Why do the software platforms that we use in our practices and hospitals still lag so far behind? Why couldn’t they have been created with the same principles, with the same care to doctors’ user experience?
As an ER doctor with over 20 years of experience, I’ve had to deal with many lackluster healthcare tech solutions. I’ve dealt with the painful transition to EMRs, and learning a new complicated system that didn’t necessarily match my workflow. But I remain optimistic about the possibilities these tools have to improve how doctors practice medicine, because I’ve seen what the new mobile healthcare wave has done for patients.
In fact, watching how mobile technology has taken up healthcare by storm was one of the reasons I decided to get involved in building healthcare technology solutions. There’s a huge opportunity that’s being missed right now – to build solutions specifically for doctors.
I personally believe that the key to successfully delivering patient-centered care is building solutions that put doctors first. The idea might seem counterintuitive at first. But I think most physicians, nurses, and staff who provide daily medical care will see the truth in it. How can we all deliver patient-centered care when we’re burned out or when we’re wasting valuable time on confusing, or arcane software?
Give us the support and the tools we need to practice medicine in a way that empowers us, and we will deliver top-quality care. I agree wholeheartedly with the goal of the patient-centered trend, but it left out the key demographic that will make that goal a reality.
If the healthcare technology industry could just bring that user-focused approach to designing software for doctors, we would be that much closer to transforming our healthcare industry into a better experience for everyone.