Tag: How Technology is Modernizing the Patient-Doctor Relationship

How Technology Is Modernizing The Patient-Doctor Relationship

Throughout history, there has always been a sort of reverent mysticism surrounding healthcare providers. Oftentimes, the patient would turn to their doctor – a person who, curiously enough, might not have had extensive healthcare knowledge working with live individuals – with their chief complaint in tow. Then, following their appointment and the revelation of their concerns, they would blindly follow the recommendations offered by the medical professional, without questioning it. 

These days, however, the dynamic between the patient and the doctor has largely shifted. In turn, this allows for both remarkably enhanced communication and considerably superior treatment outcomes, especially when compared to just a mere decade or so ago. While there are a vast myriad of reasons that can be attributed to this change, it’s fair to attest that technology has been a driving catalyst for these emerging developments. 

Gone are the days when patients lacked the resources to cross-reference any healthcare advice, and with doctors focusing on bolstering their own training and understanding through continued education (CE) coursework, we’re starting to see a marked improvement in this interaction. And no doubt, as this change continues to proliferate and spread across a wide range of healthcare fields, we can hope to see satisfactory outcomes across the board.

A Focus On Communication

In many ways, the methods that different social groups employ to interact among one another can be traced back to the application of their own unique languages. The healthcare sector is no different. While most doctors in the Western world do speak English with proficiency – albeit with a hearty dose of Latin sprinkled throughout it – it can still come out as a foreign, jumbled mess when the words meet the patient’s ear. 

Even when the healthcare provider themself is sincerely trying to speak slowly and enunciate in the exam room, it’s far too easy for the message to become convoluted in their discourse. Technology, however, is striving to change this gap in interpersonal linguistics. For instance, if a diagnosis is uploaded to a patient’s portal, they can peruse it at their own leisure and even research it extensively during their downtime. 

Electronic health records (EHR) are also making it easier for patients to follow up on any prescribed treatment options, affording them the ability to break down acronyms and lofty language into layperson’s speech. From there, the patient is then able to touch base with their provider and receive clarification on any questions that may have arisen following their appointment, and the doctor can just as easily respond to them.

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