Sidebar: Patient Thoughts on Medical PDAs
Whenever you introduce a piece of technology into the medical setting, you have to take into consideration how patients will feel about it. Dee Cantrell, CIO at Emory Healthcare in Atlanta says, "There's always been a concern with introducing technology into the patient care experience. It's whether or not it will detract from that experience." Cantrell says they have gotten positive feedback from patients regarding the use of technology because it makes them feel they are getting more quality time with the doctor.
Lynne Christie from Thomson Healthcare's Mobile PDR, a version of the PDR that synchs with a PDA, says their research has found that patients like it when doctors have accurate, up-to-date information on their PDAs. She says, "Early on when we did research, we were asking physicians who were early adopters if they were using their handheld in front of their patients because we worried that perhaps it would make them look ill-informed, like they had to look things up, and that might hurt their credibility with their patients."
Christie says a small number of patients did feel this way, but, she says, "A huge number of doctors have come to us saying it's a way of engaging their patients. Their patients get excited about it. Instead of making them look ill-informed," she says, "it makes them look technologically-savvy. It makes them look incredibly up-to-date. We've heard from physicians that it really helps in the way that patients regard them and regard the care they are getting."
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