A physician’s findings on the HIMSS14 Physician Symposium

Everything from the challenges we will encounter as we build a new healthcare system to activating evidence-based patient engagement

I had the privilege of attending the HIMSS14 Physician Symposium over the weekend, where colleagues discussed everything from the challenges we will encounter as we build a new healthcare system to activating evidence-based patient engagement.

The sessions raised all the right issues.  The focus on patient engagement, in particular, a session by Henry Feldman, MD, FACP: Informatics Enabling Patient Transparency, was interesting as he asked the same questions as another presenter: how many of the audience considered themselves a patient (still only a shabby 80 percent), and then took this further, by asking if:

      • You feel that you know exactly what your provider was thinking in making his decisions?
      • You think the clinical systems helped your provider understand comprehensively everything about you?
      • You build clinical systems or are a provider?
      • You think your (or anyone else’s) software truly helps the patient or even the provider understand comprehensively or transparently what is going on?

Sadly, the reality is that physicians still think patients are unsophisticated. As Henry astutely pointed out, the airline industry clearly gets it, and even the DMV/MVA gets it, as both offer customer engagement models.  But, the proof is in the numbers and these stats blow the unfounded resistance out of the water:

  • Only 2 percent of patients found notes more confusing than helpful.
  • Only 2 percent found the note content offensive.
  • 92 percent said they take better care of themselves.
  • 87 percent were better prepared for visits.

It is undeniable: we need to turn data into information for patients, and he cited the Wired article, Blood Test Gets a Makeover, as an example of the future of care.  He concluded by offering suggestions of where we should be with patient engagement and data-sharing:

  • Open your data to your patients,
  • Remember, patients understand more than we think,
  • Teach patients how to use data effectively, which can save you time in the long run,
  • Put your patients to work on their own health,
  • Vendors need to work on how patients will view big data,
  • It’s a new drug, research the risks and benefits!

What a great start to what will be a busy and exciting HIMSS Conference!  Be sure to stop by Nuance booth #3765 to say hello and see what Nuance is doing to get physicians back to practicing the art of medicine.

To read more, check out my full post Physician Symposium #DrHIT #HIMSS14 on my blog, Voice of the Doctor, and be sure to follow me on Twitter @drnic1.


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Dr. Nick van Terheyden

About Dr. Nick van Terheyden

This is a contributed post by Dr. Nick van Terheyden. As a pioneering creator in the evolution of healthcare technology, he brings a distinctive blend of medical practitioner and business strategist to the realm of health IT. To see more content like this, visit the Healthcare section of the blog.