Understanding Patients’ Experiences Improves the Patient Experience

It is hard not to find yourself as just a number, a number in a database, a number on someone’s list somewhere. Social Security. HICN. FICO. TIN. IP Address. Mobile phone. Like accountants driven mad, we work to balance these individual ledgers, make sure all of our numbers add up, trying to identify something in ourselves that feels off, a narrative lost. Like with most things, we are both the cause and effect of this uneasy feeling, each of us generating more lists and databases in our individual daily motions, pushing numbers from our ledger to theirs. An email returned. An exam slot scheduled. A reimbursement provided. Maybe this is the cost of our networked age, our lives now built around endless combinations of zeros and ones interacting with one another, digital HeLa cells endlessly reproducing on petri dish.

Explore the patient’s life history

For Jay Newton-Small, a former reporter for Time Magazine, the 20-page admission questionnaire coupled with her father’s fading memory and agitated behavior was going to make it more difficult for the caregivers at the care facility she moved him into back in 2013 to know more about the man he was before he was their patient.

Share the personal narrative with caregivers

Recognize the role of the family caregiver

Create Value for Caregivers from Health IT

I got involved with health policy and health IT because of my caregiving situation and my frustrations with the healthcare system. As a family caregiver, I struggled to hold down a job and fulfill the many roles I was tasked with, including care and services coordinator, medical decision maker and records keeper, insurance expert, social services liaison, and care transition team. And I faced a healthcare system that was ill prepared to deal with chronically ill seniors, especially those with dementia, and a healthcare system that viewed me as a pushy family member instead of someone who had important information to share with them.

The velocity of our lives today makes it so easy to ignore our common humanity. The velocity of care demands on healthcare providers no doubt makes it easier for them to begin to view patients as items on a never-diminishing task list. As the healthcare industry forges ahead with value-based care reimbursement models, understanding patients’ experiences and leveraging that knowledge to support their care is an experience most healthcare providers can ill afford to ignore anymore.

Originally featured on HealthcareITNews


by Adam Bazer, senior manager, health information systems, HIMSS North America.

Practice EHR for Small Practices

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