Last week, HIMSS and Cleveland Clinic hosted the Patient Experience & Digital Summit, a two-day virtual event exploring empathy in healthcare and how to improve the care experience for patients and care teams. During the summit, healthcare leaders shared an abundance of clinical innovation updates in response to the pandemic. COVID-19 prompted a dependency on digital care and remote monitoring because of heavy restrictions and stay-at-home orders. While digital care is a powerful asset to the healthcare industry, especially in 2021, it creates novel challenges for patients and caregivers. Leaders agreed there is substantial value in digital health, but that solutions tend to lack the incorporation of the human element, however, ‘technology’ and ‘human element’ aren’t typically words used together. Compassion and empathy, shown to be associated with better adherence to meds, increased patient satisfaction, and improved outcomes, must be conveyed through these technological advancements, and the key is determining how.
During one of the many summit speaking sessions, Cleveland Clinic’s Chief Experience Officer, Adrienne Boissy, mentioned that patients are more vulnerable than other technology consumers in other industries. “Even with some touches becoming virtual, through mobile devices or through eICUs, people still want relationships and still want to feel cared for,” Boissy said. “Digital technologies have begun to deliver on their promise, and yet there is still a lot of work to do.”
After this year’s Patient Experience & Digital Summit, there is no doubt that digital health companies will look for strategies to effectively integrate and embed human empathy into their solutions. At Groove Health, we are always looking to innovate upon the user experience and integrate a sense of human touch into our platform. According to Kelly Hancock, Chief Nursing Officer at the Cleveland Clinic, “Human touch is essential, and providers can learn more about their patients through a sense of connection.” Everyone involved in healthcare will benefit greatly if and when digital health solutions build a sense of trust, empathy, and comfortability into the patient experience.