Over the last few years with improvements in the HIPAA process and the requirements established by the Affordable Healthcare Act (ACA), very big changes have been hitting the healthcare industry all at once. The use of technology has exploded in clinical settings, but sometimes it feels real patient care suffers due to the reliance on technology. You can provide better healthcare by not relying so much on technology, but by putting your patients first. Here are some tips to utilize technology to become better at patient care.
Enhance, not replace
There has been far too much feedback over the last few years that patients don’t feel like they’re receiving the best face-to-face care in a clinical environment. Doctors are often spending too much time typing rather than discussing the patient’s needs or issues. Don’t let technology replace your ability to treat each patient like an individual.
Listen to your patients
The first step is to truly listen to the patients. Don’t type as they talk or they will feel as though you aren’t listening to them at all. Listening is more important than determining the diagnosis through a variety of technological resources. It is your patient’s body and they don’t want to feel like they’re being dismissed. It’s easy to have your face glued to the screen because you want to comply with all of the healthcare laws but that sends the wrong message to your patients. Remember to think about what they are hearing from their seat.
Observation is still important
Nurses, doctors, and other clinical employees have been trained in a variety of observatory skills. These skills still should be a key element in the diagnosis process. Technology adds a supplemental tool to your observation skills and shouldn’t be relied upon to make a diagnosis.
Provide a human touch
Lastly, don’t forget that each patient is a human with deep feelings, and they can be in a very stressful situation. What they want more than anything is compassion. A touch from another human is one of the most comforting things to most people, so a soft hand on the shoulder or holding someone’s hand can help them calm down when they need it most.
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