Aug 29, 2018

Healthcare and Human Connection


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As healthcare shifts toward technological advancements and a constant churn of innovation, how can the industry continue to keep patients—people—at the core of everyday operations, and organizational goals altogether?

The tech + healthcare world of tomorrow may be efficient, modernized, and even on-demand and at-home, but what about the value in touch, in connection? How can the healthcare industry utilize Silicon Valley innovations, while still emphasizing the importance of empathy and the true meaning of “care”? How can we allow healthcare providers the time and resources necessary to look up from the screen, and get back to seeing eye to eye with patients?

An example of a healthcare company that hones in on the value of connection–keeping it at the forefront of operations–is Nurse-Family Partnership. As a non-profit headquartered in Denver, they serve first-time mothers living in poverty through evidence-based nurse home visits. The model pairs new mothers with registered nurses to employ a community health program that ripples into ROI for the community (up to $5.70 for every $1 invested).

But what’s most impactful is their approach— focusing on getting back to the basics of what it means to serve and to care. The first visit is strictly a meet and greet—sans enrollment forms, paperwork, prodding—to create space for genuine dialog and, ultimately, to build a foundation of trust in a time often filled with uncertainty. The format of the program fulfills unmet needs on both sides of the equation to create a more mutually beneficial experience for nurses and new mothers. Patients gain one-on-one support through a relationship with a healthcare professional, while nurses are able to spend less time on paperwork and more time on patient interaction.

The importance of keeping human connection at the core can be seen through the example of a 15-year-old mom, who has not yet seen a nurse, and relies on search engines, word-of-mouth and socialization for symptom questions. The program empowers young mothers in similar situations to stay calm, knowing they can text their nurse for real-time feedback. This approach saves time and money both for the patient and healthcare overall. Combining technology with touch to create better outcomes—that’s the healthcare world of tomorrow.

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