Has Healthcare Turned Our Names Into A Series Of Bits And Bytes?

I posted a question yesterday about how do we define ourselves as we access healthcare. Do we prefer using the word patient, client, consumer, or is there a different word or phrase.

Many people on Twitter were kind enough to respond, reply, and leave additional comments and feedback. One of the most simplistic came from Claire Warren (@ClaireWarren0) that why don’t we just refer to one another by our names?

It made me think about caring for people historically.

Healthcare (I am vaguely summarizing a lot of history in one sentence) all began with a medicine man, witch doctor, scholar, philosopher, and a physician working closely in a community of people.

Medical practicioners built trusted relationships with the people living within those communities. They knew them by first and last name. They cared for generations of their family members. They knew their stories.

As technology advanced it moved those relationships further away from the community and placed them in larger and larger boxes. The boxes blinded us to our community. We no longer were aware of the every day needs of the people living next to us.  We lost that connection to knowing first and last names. We drove to a box versus to a home.

We began referring to individuals by a  number.

Technology was supposed to make things better for all of us. It was supposed to connect us; to make us more knowledgable. More informed.

Has technology driven us to turn the people we care for into a series of bits and bytes? Are we unable to go back to the simple things of knowing a persons first and last name?

We all have a story to tell. I believe we all want our names to be associated with our stories. Hopefully our stories will not become just a series of numbers.

As always, you can feel free to contact me at: CANCERGEEK@GMAIL.COM or follow me on twitter @cancergeek

~CancerGeek

#PtExp #PX #cancer #hcldr #hccosts #hcsm #stories #storytelling #lcsm #bcsm #hcmktg #mktg #storyteller #hcpt #consumerism #hcbiz #CX #UX #UI #Bioethx #storyline #ContentMarketing
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3 responses to “Has Healthcare Turned Our Names Into A Series Of Bits And Bytes?

  1. I’ve been following this discussion and it’s been so interesting to read people’s thoughts on this. You are so right – Claire’s answer is outstanding in its simplicity

  2. I love the comment — “let’s just call each other by our names”. In corporate America every person up to the CEO is called by their first name. In the medical profession we insert the title Dr. and immediately the relationship changes tone to authoritative … what if in the medical profession we just used first names? Would that lead to more of a partnership with doctors, nurses, patients, caregivers, technicians? Would it feel like more of a team? I propose to do that from now on with all of my physicians. I’ll let you know how it goes.

  3. I tried the first name thing with one of my physicians who always called me by my first name; he didn’t like it. He claimed it was a respect issue in that he had spent a good part of his life earning the title of Doctor and wanted it to be used. So I told him he had to call me Ms. Rainwater; he was offended. He isn’t my doctor any more.

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