Clinic’s errant form letter reveals health care’s faulty human touch
Wednesday, July 18, 2018
myAJC (The Atlanta Journal-Constitution) - When Dr. Seth Walker, an Emory Healthcare pulmonologist, decided to take a position in Cleveland, Emory sent out a letter letting his patients know.
The letter incident exemplifies a tension in a human-centered trend in health care, said Jason Wolf, the president of the Beryl Institute and founding editor of the Patient Experience Journal.
“You want to give them a little bit of credit,” Wolf said. “It’s good you’re being active in your outreach. But you’ve got to be mindful in the way you do it.”
His organization will publish this week a study on what patients expect from health care workers and institutions. First, of course, comes health. “Second, and not far behind,” he said, “is that they were treated as a person.”
The implications can be significant, he said, not only for a health system’s popularity and financial health. If patients don’t feel engaged, they may slack off or change their participation in their care, and that can have an impact on their clinical outcomes.
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