How can the use of digital technology still give the patient the experience of personal care?
The discussion then moved onto the broader role of technology and how personal care will be affected. Felipe de la Fuente started off by warning about the possible dehumanization of patients in the face of digital solutions. “In many circumstances,” he said, “personal care is still far from being truly person-centric. Logistics, financials, and activities (incl., ADLs) are the critical elements. Often, the person is overlooked and solutions in connected care don’t focus on them”.
Rasu Shrestha, Chief Innovation officer at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, agreed with the sentiment, highlighting that the technology shouldn’t be the only aspect of care, instead being “24/7 and ubiquitous. The technology however, should disappear into the background and only accentuate and augment”.
Electronic health records (EHRs) are an integral part of connected care, providing a central point for patient information and accessible by HCPs wherever they are. Participants were quick to agree on their benefits, with Donna Mullikin saying they play a “very important role if used effectively and information is transferable to non NHS healthcare providers”.
Jan Kimpen elaborated, saying that “Standardized EHRs that can be consistently integrated are a critical to unlocking better value in healthcare. Improving patient experience through seamless information sharing and high quality clinical data, also help to scale predictive population management.”
However, the prospect of patient data doesn’t come without considerations. The discussion turned towards data and security, which was the subject of a recent FHI podcast. Jan Kimpen said that “The worries are widespread. So there is a big incentive to reach for maximal safety and security. All stakeholders have to team up to make the system sound.”
Felipe de la Fuente extended the question of privacy to family and other non-medical caregivers: “EHR should be the key component of information sharing among care team members, within and outside the boundaries of the health system. What are those boundaries when home is where health is delivered and the care team are the members of the family?”
Some other opinions on this question included: