Humanizing Technology to Enhance Patient Engagement and Satisfaction

Technology is often frustrating, and we sometimes yearn for the good old days — before technology became a constant part of our lives. But technology’s benefits in healthcare and improving patient outcomes are a tremendous boon to patients, providers, and even payers.

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There’s no doubt that technological advancements have, in most cases, made our lives easier and more productive. We use technology in our jobs, to communicate with friends and relatives, shop, get the news, and manage our finances and schedules. But in our quest for better, faster, cheaper technologies, we have often lost sight of human needs. As our lives become inextricably entangled with technology, we are learning to adapt to it. But it’s time to turn that around and start creating technologies that adapt to human beliefs, behaviors, and emotions. This is especially necessary in the area of healthcare. Here’s an overview of where we are with humanizing healthcare in this increasingly digital world.

What does humanizing technology mean?

Humanizing technology means helping people relate to high-tech devices in a similar manner to how we relate to others in our daily lives. By humanizing technology, we make our tech interactions more flexible — and technology in turn makes our lives simpler and more convenient.

In addition, humanizing technology makes tech more inclusive — not just for the technologically savvy. Complicated apps and non-user-friendly interfaces tend to exclude and intimidate less-savvy individuals. Artificial intelligence (AI) and people-centered design are key to humanization of technology. Using AI makes technology more flexible as it learns to adapt to human needs.

Why technology needs to become more human

Humans are becoming dependent on technology to run our lives, removing the growth that comes from cognitive thinking and human experience. We’re basically forgetting how to think.

Humans require in-person interactions and the personal bonds that build trust. This is especially important in healthcare and the patient-provider relationship. The more human and people-friendly the technology, the more likely it is to be adopted.

How AI is humanizing technology and improving patient engagement

AI is key to humanizing technology and therefore a key player in improving patient engagement. Despite fears to the contrary, AI has the ability to “re-humanize” technology. It learns human behavior and personalizes patient interactions.

AI also frees up providers to spend more time engaging with patients and allows more time for value-based care that generally favors outcomes rather than the number of patients seen. It helps create meaningful connections and experiences for patients and providers by humanizing websites, mobile applications, text messages, and chatbots. AI makes this technology less complicated and more intuitive, as well as more personalized. In addition, AI-enabled decision-support algorithms allow providers to make more accurate diagnoses and customize treatment.

Digital technology allows the collection and storage of information related to the patient, such as previous appointments, preferences about appointment times and locations, and other information that allows a more personalized interaction. It can educate patients and provide more options for treatment, which empowers patients. It’s useful for allowing patients to access health records, health portals, and healthcare resources, as well as for communications and personal interactions to increase patient satisfaction. A satisfying patient experience usually translates to better outcomes, greater value, and fewer claim rejections, resulting in increased revenue.

We live in an age where our lives are increasingly bombarded with technology. While technology does have the power to be detrimental, if we learn to embrace it and harness its power to help humanize the provider-patient interaction, it can make a big difference in optimizing patient care.

TruBridge has developed a very effective combination of industry-leading technology and patient financial counselors that results in improved collections and patient interactions. Reach out to us today.

Written by Gregory Leatherbury
TruBridge Vice President, Business Services