Sunday, August 3, 2014

Can Google Glass improve the patient experience?

Hospitals and health systems, after some early adapters innovated in the use of Google Glass by physicians in the ER and with in-office patient examinations and treatment, by  having real time consults with specialists, are slowly moving to the use of this innovative technology. Which begs the question for me; can Google Glass be used to improve the patient experience?  

If you think about a physician wearing Google Glass and transmitting data and images, then why not make the leap and consider giving the healthcare consumer/patient or even family member/visitor for that matter, the same technology to use during an inpatient or outpatient encounter?

The health consumer/patient experience is not linear. It is the sum total of every individual experience across the healthcare encounter that occurs. There are a lot of steps in the patient experience and mostly the analysis is all retrospective – market research, patient interviews, focus groups, patient satisfaction data etc. And the patient experience improvement process is usually focused on one or two aspects of the patient experience, not the entire encounter.

Now consider for maybe the first time, the availability of using an innovative technology developed for the general public, used by the patient to provide real-time data on the patient experience from the eyes of the healthcare consumer/patient.  Powerful.

Instead of looking at one single aspect, you can gain valuable insight into the entire experience while retaining the ability to zero in from the data on one aspect to the patient experience. Contemplate for a moment Google Glass use as a potentially good way to find out how nurse’s, physician’s and other caregiver’s are engaging and talking to the patient.  Could even discover which caregivers are or are not washing their hands pre and post encounter?  What would it means to have the availability of real time data from the patent from their view and what happened when the patient fell?

Seems to me that there are some great uses for Google Glass for improving healthcare, be it the experience or treatment.

Now that being said, the naysayers will probably use HIPPA or some advice from attorneys about risk and exposure that a hospital or health system can’t give Google Glass to patients. I could see some valid concerns, but nothing that cannot be overcome.

After all it’s about improving the experience and care isn’t it?  Or is it still in one’s mind all about the hospital or health system, and not the healthcare consumer/patient?

Google Glass may be just the prescription the doctor ordered.

The fastpitch softball season has come to a close as well as my daughter’s 10 year playing career. Hope springs eternal that she will change her mind and play in college.  The 16U A USSA Fastpitch Softball World Series in Overland Park, Kansas as a lot of fun. Alex pitched well and went 3-2 in games she pitched and the team went 4-3 overall.  The official results have them ranked in the top 20 in the 17th spot out of 40 teams.  Pretty good really!  Now on to college visits, high school graduation and a new chapter in her life.  Now where did I put that honey do list?

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