Patient Experience Technology – Helpful?

Blog post by Colin Hung

This week for #hcldr I will be live-tweeting from Cleveland Clinic’s Patient Experience Conference – Empathy + Innovation. You can follow along with conference’s hashtag #PESummit.

Patient Experience is a topic that we have covered numerous times on #hcldr. We discussed the difference between patient experience and patient engagement, we talked about patient experience becoming the new healthcare reality, and we tweeted about the state of patient experience in 2017. As well, we often end up discussing how to better include families and patients in the design of healthcare processes, buildings and software.

However, there is one aspect of patient experience that we have not discussed as a community – how technology helps or hinders. Over the past couple of years, as patient experience has become a priority for healthcare organizations, a slew of companies have brought technologies to market. Personally I have seen Virtual Window technologies that bring scenes from outdoors into patient rooms, I have seen massage chairs in waiting areas and I have seen companies give out ad-supported iPads to patients so they can watch educational material about their post-procedure exercise regimen.

But do these and other patient experience technologies really help? Or are they simply a waste of dollars – dollars that could be spent addressing deeper issues?

Consider the case of TV in hospital rooms. Even at today’s discounted rates, I’m going to guess that a moderate sized flatscreen TVs would cost a hospital at least $1,000 including the cabling and mounting. Multiply that by the number of hospital rooms and it’s easily a few hundred thousand for each hospital. One on hand, having a TV in the room can help lift the spirits of patients and family members. Personally I know the TV helped distract me from the pain and boredom of being in a hospital bed. On the other hand, a few hundred thousand dollars would pay for a couple of extra nurses or pay for additional mental health programs. (Note: I realize that in reality TVs come from the capital budget whereas nurses and programs come from the clinical operational budget).

The question is where do we get more bang for the buck when it comes to patient experience? Are there technologies that truly make a difference? As a patient is there a better investment that a healthcare organization could make to improve experience? If a combination is needed, how do you strike the right balance?

Join us for the weekly #hcldr tweetchat on Tuesday May 23rd at 8:30pm EDT (for your local time click here) when we will discuss the following patient experience topics:

  • T1 Is there a technology (software or device) that you believe has made patient experience better?
  • T2 Is there a technology that you believe has made zero difference to patient experience?
  • T3 How could healthcare leaders better determine if a technology will actually improve patient experience?
  • T4 What patient experience improvement are you most hoping to see in the next year?


“The role of technology in the patient experience”, Josh Nelson, Deloitte Blog, 8 December 2016,, accessed 21 May 2017

“Technology and the Patient Experience”, Scott Mace, HealthLeaders Media, 14 April 2015,, accessed 21 May 2017

“Using new Technology to Improve Patient Experience”, Stephanie Meade and Beth Pierce, ASQ, January 2016,, accessed 21 May 2017

“HIMSS17: How tech tools aim for better patient experience”, Jeff Byers, Healthcare Dive, 27 February 2017,, accessed 21 May 2017

“4 Ways Wearable Devices May Aid Patient Experience, Outcomes”, Marianne Aiello, HealthLeaders Media, 9 September 2015,, accessed 21 May 2017

“8 Ways to Improve Patient Satisfaction, Patient Experience And (By The Way) HCAHPS Scores”, Micah Solomon, 11 January 2015,, accessed 21 May 2017

“Point of care mobile health devices improve patient safety and satisfaction”, Steve Shirley, HealthIT & CIO Review, 22 October 2014,, accessed 21 May 2017

“Internet of Medical Things improves patient experience”, Shaun Sutner, TechTarget,, accessed 21 May 2017

“Section 2: Why Improve Patient Experience?”, AHRQ, July 2015,, accessed 21 May 2017

Image Credit

Health Applications for Android Tablets – Intel Free Press


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