Meeting Patients Where They Are: Using Multimedia and Interactive Voice Technology to Humanize Communication and Engage Patients

Meeting Patients Where They Are: Using Multimedia and Interactive Voice Technology to Humanize Communication and Engage Patients

Geri Lynn Baumblatt (Emmi Solutions, LLC, USA)
Copyright: © 2017 |Pages: 18
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-1928-7.ch017
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Abstract

In this chapter the author describes the challenges of engaging and communicating with patients and how technology can improve communication, elicit honest patient disclosure, and create more productive conversation and help patients engage and partner in their care. The author will also discuss how research with multimedia programs reveals it can help reduce anxiety, improve knowledge, help low health literacy audiences, and contribute to improved outcomes. This chapter will also examine how multimedia decision aid programs can help patients understand their options and complex risk information, while helping them consider their values and preferences so they can truly engage in shared decision making.
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Background

The term “patient” stems from Old French pacient or “patience” meaning: “quality of being willing to bear adversities, calm endurance of misfortune, suffering, etc.” To be “patient” is to “endure without complaint” (Harper, 2001). This is a historical definition, but it connotes deference, powerlessness, and passivity as well as a need to be firm and unyielding, as if to say: do as caregivers say, but do not give in to pain or despair. Only fairly recently do patients no longer see themselves as passive recipients of care or those who are acted upon, but as motivated partners, or even as advocates who must intervene in their care.

As many have noted, the term “patient engagement” implies patients must be activated to engage. Yet, in this fundamentally mutual enterprise, we often fail to provide patients with the most essential tools to participate: a real understanding of their condition, how it will affect their life over time, their treatment options, and the time, ability, and a safe and unintimidating setting to ask meaningful questions about their care.

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