What’s happening in orthopedic care is a growing concern, as technology has become increasingly commonplace.
As the medical profession has begun to adapt to the changes that are taking place, so too has the technology that helps us to diagnose, treat and ultimately prevent injuries.
In an effort to improve patient safety, some doctors are now using wearable technology to monitor the health of their patients.
In the meantime, some of the devices that are increasingly used in orthopaedic surgery are still not ready for prime time.
And it is the patient’s ability to interpret what the doctor is seeing that is paramount, says Dr. Vasant Krishnan, a member of the medical faculty at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center.
In many cases, the patient can be able to interpret their doctor’s actions to an extent that can allow them to better anticipate the effects of the procedure, such as the risk of infection.
It’s also important to note that it’s not the technology itself that is the problem.
The problem lies in the doctor’s response to the information the patient is presented with.
The more the patient gets a good idea of the risk to the patient, the more likely they are to make the right decision, he adds.
Dr. Krishnan’s research has examined the relationship between patient and doctor communication, especially in the context of a healthcare facility, where the patient interacts with the doctor in a more casual, friendly, and professional manner.
“The doctor will often be the only one in the room with the patient and they will interact in a very casual way.
But, as a result of this communication, they will make the most appropriate decisions, and in many cases they are,” he says.
The technology is becoming increasingly commonplace, too.
The average doctor spends just under four hours a week on an orthopedically-oriented patient visit, and some doctors spend a significant amount of time interacting with their patients while they are undergoing procedures.
“Most doctors, including myself, are actually doing more time in the hospital and we’re working less,” says Dr Kiritan Narayan, a resident physician at the hospital.
He explains that in a healthy, productive workforce, these types of patient interactions can be an essential part of health care.
In other words, these activities are critical to ensuring that our patients receive the best care.
But in a profession that is changing rapidly, it is important to keep in mind that some of these activities will be done by people who may not be comfortable with the physical intimacy of the hospital setting.
“The patient is often not comfortable in a setting where they are not being treated by a healthcare professional and it is really important that we treat them with respect,” Dr. Krishan says.
This article originally appeared on Healthline and was republished with permission.