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March 2017, Vol. 5 No. 2

Patient involvement in care needs a nudge from technology

In today's world, efforts to boost patient involvement in medical care are hit and miss. On one hand, online patient portals have improved rapidly. It's also possible to email and possibly even text your physician (although beware of what is texted). And retail pharmacies are trying hard to understand the medical needs of their customers in the hopes of getting more frequent, non-urgent visits from patients. On the flip side, things ain't perfect. My employer offers an 800 number for telemedicine consults, and I waited two hours for a call back only to hear that a doctor still wasn't available. I decided to move on to an online search at that point on ways to treat a minor burn (MayoClinic.org is my favorite go-to for informal medical info). Health IT tries to catch up From the broken-record cabinet comes the observation that healthcare often lags behind other industries when it comes to technology -- in this case, software that enhances patient involvement in care. Retail has been strongly behind customer relationship ...

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