Optimizing Technology for The Best Patient Interactions

If you’re a healthcare provider, you are already well aware of the way that electronic medical records such as EHR for mental health providers are changing the way you practice medicine. So when you’re in your office utilizing technology (a computer, a tablet, or even a smartphone) with a patient at your side, take note of the following hints to maximize technology’s benefits and your opportunity to communicate with your patients.

1. Don’t forget eye contact. Just because you are charting on a computer or searching for relevant medical information on a tablet does not mean that you have an excuse to forego eye contact with your patient. Medicine is about communication, empathy, and understanding—traits impossible to display if your eyes are glued to a screen.

2. Involve your patient. While EHR for mental health providers is a fantastic tool for efficient practice and recordkeeping, charting during a patient interview runs the risk of causing you to seem distant or distracted.

Instead of keeping your computer monitor pointed towards your face and out of view of your patient, turn the screen so that they, too, can see the information you’re entering. Likewise, tilt your tablet screen down or stand beside them while allowing your patient to look on. Not only will this involve them more thoroughly in their own health management, but they can also help you to verify that the information you are entering in their record is correct.

3. Utilize your technology for the patient’s benefit. Remember, your tech isn’t just for charting! You also have a myriad of other resources available to you thanks to apps and the internet, so share this incredible wealth of information with your patients, too!

Depending on your stance, you may be warier of embracing these changes than your younger counterparts. However, there is no denying that technology is taking the medical field by storm, whether you like it or not, so use it to your (and your patients’) advantage!

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