iPatient and Physician Work Circa 2016

An interesting commentary (DI Rosenthal, A Verghese. NEJM 2016; 375: 1813-5) provides a closer glimpse into the meaning and nature of physicians’ work at this time.

Key points:

  • Medical students and residents spend 40-50% of their day in front of a computer & much of the rest of their day on the phone (coordinating care).
  • Time spent with patients “has remained stable over the past six decades.”
  • Flipping through the electronic record before seeing patients is commonplace but can lead to a ‘framing bias.’
  • “Our attention is so frequently diverted from the lives, bodies, and souls of the people entrusted to our care”…”despite all the rhetoric about ‘patient-centered care,’ the patient is not at the center of things.”
  • The authors equate the digital representation of the patient as an ‘iPatient.’
  • Physicians are “resentful of the time required to transcribe and translate information.”
  • Higher satisfaction is associated with perceptions of higher quality of care.
  • The authors advocate working on “rebuilding our practices and physical spaces to promote human connections that can sustain us — between physicians and patients, physicians and physicians, and physicians and nurses.”

My take: The authors provide a closer glimpse of the problem showing how our digital health has hindered meaningful interactions that go to the heart of medicine –to provide comfort and care.

Related blog posts:

Neighborhood tree a few weeks ago

Neighborhood tree a few weeks ago


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s