Please pick up the phone –

Phone OfficeI’ve recently attended several conferences at which the advancement of medicine was discussed. An important aspect was to increase communication and reduce silos for improved treatment and consideration of patient’s needs and wishes. When accomplished, the patient would be treated by a team which would include the patient as an integral member. But part of the conference focused on the use of technology to share results, forms, and treatments. Personally, I love technology and believe we have been able to make fantastic strides in the advancement of many fields. Unfortunately, the excitement was all about sharing without picking up the phone. There is a small piece of me who relished calling patients – especially with good news. I was able to share their joy which offered positive feedback and reminded me of the reason I went into the health field. Working in the silence of machines is great, but it reminds me of why I stopped spending my few quarters at casino slot machines. I missed the noise, the emotion, the sweet sound of reward when a few tokens were won. We need to celebrate good news as well as receive it. Embrace technology, share information, but never lose sight of the actual patient, their joy, anxiety, or goals. Whenever you can, reach out, touch and talk to someone.