Is empathy drowning in a sea of data?

The idea of the family doctor has passed into history. In fact, fewer and fewer Americans have a primary care provider. Yet empathy is, and…

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Scott Lundstrom

October 29, 20213 minute read

healthcare professional entering data

The idea of the family doctor has passed into history. In fact, fewer and fewer Americans have a primary care provider. Yet empathy is, and must always remain, a central pillar of healthcare. As patient experiences increasingly move from the personal to the digital, how can we ensure there is real empathy between provider and patient?

Even before the Covid-19 pandemic, healthcare systems worldwide were under enormous pressure. Growing and aging populations – many with multiple chronic conditions – have stressed already stretched budgets. In countries like the U.S. and U.K., the situation with primary care providers was rapidly moving from a shortage to a crisis. Then the pandemic hit and accelerated the use of digital channels to deliver telehealth services – a 38 times increase, according to McKinsey.

It’s clear that we need to fully embrace digital solutions if we have any hope of continuing to deliver the level and quality of care needed. The early indicators are good. Patients liked the telehealth experience during the pandemic, with 89% of respondents to survey rating it ‘excellent or ‘very good’. In addition, 83% of those surveyed saw in as an essential part of their future care.

There’s no empathy without intelligence

The question is how do we ensure that someone always receives the same level of personalized, patient-centric care regardless of the channel they use or, indeed, the stage their at in their patient journey? How can we ensure that the patient is met with empathy at each engagement?

I’d say that empathy relies on understanding that relies on information. Information is not something that the healthcare sector lacks. We have a lot of content but it’s too often siloed. Each healthcare provider has their own patient records, most patients have multiple EMRs and even departments within the same hospital have difficulty with the timely sharing of information.

The challenge within healthcare transformation today is to achieve the move from content-rich to data-driven. We need to effectively uncover the insights that lie in this data – and we need to be able to share them quickly and securely with everyone that needs them, including the patient.

It’s the intelligence within the insights that enables a real understanding of each individual patient. And that’s what allows the provider to deal with the patient empathetically, whether digitally or in person. More than this, as patients take more control of their own health, the ability to share data between the care provider and the patients will lead to better, more open conversations and better outcomes.

Building an information platform to enable empathy

Today, OpenText™ can deliver an enterprise-wide healthcare platform that supports timely, compliant data exchanges across a network of caregivers, patients, patient advocate groups and other stakeholders. The platform provides:

  • Improved quality of care, operations and outcomes based on high quality patient information
  • Secure exchange of timely and accurate information securely
  • Streamlined management of patient records and content
  • Enhanced data-driven decisions through advanced analytics and reporting
  • Intelligent automation of healthcare processes and workflows
  • Increased collaboration across the digital ecosystem of stakeholders
  • Rapid development and deployment of digital services and experiences

By managing all data centrally and fully releasing its value of the insights, healthcare providers worldwide can begin to engage patients through intelligent, empathetic experiences. Learn more about how healthcare solutions from OpenText can help your organization.

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Scott Lundstrom

Scott is a long-time industry analyst, CIO, and software developer supporting complex regulated businesses in healthcare, life sciences and consumer goods. At AMR, Scott contributed to the original SCOR model, and helped launch the Top 25 Supply-Chain program. Scott founded the health industry practice at IDC Research and lead this group for 13 years. Scott also held leadership roles in research focused on AI, Cloud, SaaS, enterprise applications and analytics.

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