I Screen, You Screen

When you're meeting with your patient, or your clinician, does the computer feel like a blessing or a curse?  With electronic medical records implemented in most practices, the omniscient and ever-present screen can get in the way of productive and meaningful conversation.  A challenge to both patients and clinicians is to retain the human connection during visits while also updating and maintaining the electronic health record.

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A recent publication from The Gold Foundation - Turning foe into friend: Leveraging the electronic health record to promote humanism - highlighted a study with strategies to help improve patient/clinician communication while promoting and engaging with technology.  Part of the approach included the HUMAN LEVEL (see table below), which includes suggestions like making the first few minutes of the appointment technology-free, nixing the screen when it comes to discussing sensitive information, and maintaining eye contact.

  From Breaking Away from the iPatient to Care for the Real Patient: Implementing a Patient-Centered EMR Use Curriculum,  downloadable here

From Breaking Away from the iPatient to Care for the Real Patient: Implementing a Patient-Centered EMR Use Curriculum, downloadable here

Patients, have you had clinicians that practice these sorts of strategies?  Do you feel like it was helpful?  Clinicians, do you try to follow these kinds of guidelines?  Does it work?  And as a team, would this kind of approach improve communication?

Stepping outside of the intimate interaction between patients and clinicians, what could clinics and hospitals do to achieve some of these HUMAN LEVEL goals?  Is there something that EHR companies could do to contribute?  

We'd love to hear your thoughts.  Email us at submissions@patientrevolution.org or connect through Facebook or Twitter.