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The Institute of Medicine stated that patient-centered care refers to “providing care that is respectful of, and responsive to, individual patient preferences, needs and values, and ensuring that patient values guide all clinical decisions.” Patient-centric care is also a collaborative approach between the patient and the healthcare team. There are a number of technologies that are considered patient-centric such as patient portals and EHR; however, there may be challenges from both the patient and the healthcare worker’s perspective.

Validate the importance of patient-centric technologies.

Include the following aspects in the discussion:

1) Discuss if your doctor’s office utilizes a patient portal. If so, please discuss the pros and cons of utilizing it.

2) If your doctor’s office does not utilize a patient portal, what is the process of viewing your medical records, making appointments, communicating with your providers, etc.?

3) What can be done to reduce resistance by healthcare professionals in reference to patient-centric technologies?


                                             CLASSMATE’S POST

Treating patients with medical conditions, many of which have acquired several at a time, is challenging, and not every patient will react positively to every approach or treatment option. As a result, the solutions for these chronic illnesses must be designed to create a better overall experience for the patient and their caregivers. Positive steps in care reflect more positive conclusions in care, and these patient-centric technologies are the answer; innovative platforms that allow for ease of chronic disease management and improving quality of life, but, still, we see much resistance by both healthcare professionals and patients alike in reference to patient-centric technologist.

Healthcare systems are typically slow to make changes. Changes in technology systems and workflows can be stressful and creates an inconvenience during the implementation process, even when the outcome is expected to showcase a positive and more efficient workflow. There are always growing pains with growth and movement, even if that movement is for the better, for several reasons: 1) technology can be expensive, 2) many providers view technology as too impersonal, 3) patients are skeptical of technology to communicate with their care teams. I think it is important to educate patients on why and how the use of these technologies can be beneficial to improving their overall quality of life and experience with those providing care to them. Having direct access to your care team to ask questions, view your medical information, medication lists, and upcoming appointments can be so beneficial to saving time and being the driver of your own health journey.

Currently, I do not participate in utilizing my doctor’s office patient portal even though I know it is an option. For me, I only see my primary care physician a few times per year for my annual wellness visits and potentially a few acute visits for the inevitable seasonal illnesses. As far as my children’s’ pediatrician office goes though, I am an active participant in their patient portal. I can view dates of service, bills that I may owe, upcoming appointments, lab results, vaccination histories, etc. in their charts, which is really helpful as I like to track their growth, development, and milestones tediously. It is also a very user-friendly platform that I can take advantage of if I want to connect with their doctor or nurses if I have questions about past- or upcoming appointments or things we discussed during an appointment that I need more clarification on. As a busy mom working full time and going to school, it helps cut down on unnecessary phone calls and bringing an entire list of things to discuss during each visit. For me, there are so many pros to using the patient portal that really the only con I could see is that not everyone has access to these technologies; smart phones, computers, or wireless internet. I think we tend to forget because we live in a digital age that it does still cost money to have access to these things, and that is a luxury for most, but a dream for many, especially those on fixed incomes.

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