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Patients Define Evolving Expectations for HIT

Scott Mace, for HealthLeaders Media, September 17, 2013

To me that defines not only the value of health IT, but also the value of the healthcare provider in this Google age – as curator, guide, Sherpa, coach and counselor.

Not quite the authority figure of old, but if providers keep up with the tools available to patients, and turn yesterday's one-page brochure on a disease into tomorrow's Web site or Pinterest page or mobile app, they will continue to be at the center of patient care.

As Nayyar notes, "anybody who reads the side effects on something like Tylenol would be terrified of taking it." It's still the clinician's role to put the plethora of information out there in context.

I am struck by the number of practices, however, that have a long way to go beyond just installing an EHR. Scheduling technology, or the lack thereof, continues to be a barrier to coordinated care. Recently I heard someone remark how much better an experience it would be if an elderly patient with five chronic diseases could go to a single exam room, then have visits with all her specialists in that same room, rather than have to get from office to office – an exhausting experience for many elderly patients.

Even better, how about being able to have multiple specialists at the same appointment, as appropriate?

To me, it is those kinds of patient expectations that are defining the new value of health IT.

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