Editorial  |   October 2019
Patient Engagement
Author Affiliations
  • N. Martin Giesecke, M.D.
    Editor, ASA Monitor
Article Information
Cardiovascular Anesthesia / Central and Peripheral Nervous Systems / Education / CPD / Ethics / Medicolegal Issues / Technology / Equipment / Monitoring / Editorial
Editorial   |   October 2019
Patient Engagement
ASA Monitor 10 2019, Vol.83, 6-7.
ASA Monitor 10 2019, Vol.83, 6-7.
To steal a phrase from a well-known movie title, we may need to go “Back to the Future” to capitalize on patient engagement initiatives. It seems to me that on the one hand we become more concerned about patient-centered care, and on the other hand we behave in manners that belie our intention to focus on the patient.
In this edition of the ASA Monitor, Drs. Bader and Urman have written “Putting Patients First: Treat the Patient, Not the Technology.” They discuss multiple aspects surrounding the dilemma of using technology while still attempting to maintain patient-centered care. One of the issues they discuss is that our use of electronic technology may actually be disrespectful to our patients. Consider their presentation of the experience of Dr. Abraham Verghese.1  While a patient, Dr. Verghese recalls that his nurse would visit him, facing the screen of her computer monitor, all the while keeping her back to him and speaking to him over her shoulder.1  In my wanderings around the hospital, this scene plays out several times daily, with physicians and nurses both keeping their backs to the patient while working on a computer.
1 Comment
October 10, 2019
Kevin Tarrant
Oregon Anesthesiology Group
Pre-op engagement
I more often see engagement with the computer, rather than with the patient. I won’t do it. We all went to medical school. We are smart enough to remember what a patient tells us, then go to a computer and enter it. I got the pre-op area to buy a few rolling stools, so I can go in, check the patient's name, surgery and consent, then sit down and pay attention to the patient while looking them in the eye. We don’t get very long to bond with our patients so it’s doubly important to let them know that you care and are concerned about the problems that brought them into our care. It only adds a minute or so to act like a caring doctor. (Remember we all said “ I want to help people“ when applying to medical. You said it, so do it.)
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