first last

How Have Computers Changed Patient-Provider Relationships?

​Bob Wachter, MD, Professor and Interim Chairman of the Department of Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF)

Have trouble viewing this video? Read the transcript.

Learning Objectives: At the end of this activity, you will be able to:
  • Discuss at least one way computers are helping patient-provider relationships.
  • Discuss at least one way computers are harming patient-provider relationships.
  • Recognize how information symmetry is changing health care.

Description: The ubiquitous computer has become an essential entity in almost every provider-patient visit.

“Computers,” patient safety expert Dr. Bob Wachter says, “are changing the doctor-patient relationship in all sorts of ways. Some of them are really healthy; some of them are quite scary.”

In this short video, Dr. Wachter discusses the pros and cons that the digital age has brought into intimate patient-provider relationships.

Discussion Questions:

  1. In your opinion, how are computers helping patient-provider relationships?
  2. In your opinion, how are computers harming patient-provider relationships?
  3. At the beginning of the video, Dr. Wachter says, “Patients have gotten the impression that the doctor is paying more attention to the digital version of them than the real version of them.” Do you agree? Would your answer change if you took the patient perspective?
  4. Dr. Wachter talks about how computers have helped to democratize health care, and mentions that we’re still “working out all the details” in regard to this new democratic relationship. Do you think there are potentially negative side effects to the democratization of health care?
  5. What do you think the computer’s role in health care will be in five years?
Average Content Rating
(1 user)
Please login to rate or comment on this content.
User Comments