Should iTouch the iPatient?

In a recent NYT article, Abraham Verghese, a professor at Stanford University School of Medicine, relates:

‘This computer record creates what I call an “iPatient” — and this iPatient threatens to become the real focus of our attention, while the real patient in the bed often feels neglected, a mere placeholder for the virtual record.”

One thing that always unnerves me about modern medical clinics is the buzzing and beeping of gadgets telling us what to do next. While all eyes are on the computer screens, patients are cowering in the corner of the room. With sanitizing hand gel on every counter, one wonders if it is even safe to touch people.

When citizens are asked to dream their “ideal clinic” they describe a sanctuary, a safe place. Listen to their words. Patients want to be touched, hugged. They want to feel warm, nurtured, loved, and important. . .

Interestingly, there are never requests for more technology.


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