Ted James, MD, MHCM
June 2, 2020
“In an age where the average consumer manages nearly all aspects of life online, it’s a no-brainer that healthcare should be just as convenient, accessible, and safe as online banking.”
— Jonathan Linkous, CEO of the American Telemedicine Association
Health care organizations are actively leveraging telemedicine as a natural solution to connecting with patients while addressing new social distancing realities. Honestly, I found it difficult at first to establish an effective rapport with patients using telehealth, especially for new patient consults. Many physicians report difficulty making the transition to virtual patient encounters.
The learning curve was more than I had expected, and my first few telehealth visits seemed disengaged and sterile. Not to mention having to deal with technical problems. In response, I looked for resources about making meaningful connections with patients, despite the loss of physical presence. I also looked at how to apply the basics of patient-centered communication to this new digital platform. As it turns out, you can learn techniques to become more comfortable and improve your ‘web-side manner.’ Continue reading “Best Practices for Patient Engagement with Telehealth”
By Ted James, MD, MHCM
March 28, 2019
Advances in health technology allow health care professionals and organizations to meet ever-increasing demands for performance improvement—or at least that should be the case. The problem is that the adoption of technology in health care is a slow process with many hurdles. Wearables, predictive analytics, remote medicine, EHRs, digital health, AI, diagnostic algorithms, self-care apps, and next-generation clinical decision-support all have the potential to improve patient care; however, fundamental issues with usability and implementation need to be addressed for physicians to engage with these health innovations. Continue reading “Best Practices for Engaging Physicians in Health Technology”
By Ami Bhatt, MD, FACC
December 6, 2018
On July 26, 1990, President George H. W. Bush signed into law the Americans with Disabilities Act. The ADA was touted for promoting health as well as civil rights.
I learned first-hand about the experience of patients with disabilities by caring for patients with concomitant congenital deafness and congenital heart disease. I am fortunate to have cared for a cadre of these patients with a dedicated sign language interpreter over the past decade. She represented me to the patients and the patients to me. Importantly, in addition to translating language, she expressed the tone of voice and achieved the delivery of emotions which are essential to effective and compassionate communication. She was also a trusted partner in my practice of medicine. Since she also knew my patients’ histories, I could trust her to accompany the patient at other doctors’ visits, to help the patient communicate what I had shared, and vice versa. Continue reading “Caring for Patients Using Sign Language: The ADA Legacy of George H.W. Bush”
By Ted A James, MD, MHCM, FACS
October 10, 2018
We live in a digital age of information and innovation, where technological advances continue to make accessibility and independence the norm. Health care, however, has a peculiar relationship with technology. Although we have experienced life-changing advances in medical science, health care delivery systems often fail to meet today’s expectations of convenience, transparency, and choice. Most other industries are far ahead of health care when it comes to engaging with the people they serve (e.g., Uber, Airbnb, Amazon, etc.). As a result, people are less willing to accept the delays, inconvenience, and lack of control traditionally experienced in health care. We are unlikely to succeed in achieving high-value care (i.e., greater quality, lower cost) unless our health care systems can factor patient engagement into the equation. A digital health revolution is coming, and those who prepare and are ready to adapt stand to reap the benefits. Continue reading “The Future of Patient Engagement in the Digital Age”