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Nutrition Informatics Blog



Does Technology=Patient- and Family-Centered Care?

Submitted by Megan Waltz, MS, RD, CSO, CNSC

The Affordable Care Act has brought about many changes in how we deliver, plan, and
evaluate health care. We have evolved away from a disease-centered approach
where the medical provider makes all the decisions to a patient- and family-centered
model of care where patients are active participants in their own health care
decisions and are empowered by having information at their fingertips. The
evolution of the electronic health record and the ever-changing improvements in
technology have made this style of health care possible. 

Is technology really patient- and family-centered care? Well, that most likely
depends on who you ask. I just came from the doctor where I felt like no one
looked at me the entire time I was in the office. Rather, they all looked at
their computer screens, asking question after question, while I sat listening
to click after click. But those questions and clicks allowed me to drive to the
pharmacy right after my appointment, where my prescriptions were waiting for me
when I arrived. And when I picked them up, they had my e-card on file, so I
simply had to sign two documents to pick up and pay for medication. This quick
transaction allowed me to get from the doctor’s office, to the pharmacy, and
then back to work in about an hour. 

Remember the days when you had to wait, and wait, and wait at the doctor’s office, only
to drop off the paper script at the pharmacy and then wait, and wait, and wait
again while they prepared the prescription? On top of that you had to go
through the process of giving them your name, your address, your phone number,
and your insurance information, only to have them call the insurance company to
verify the information while you waited even longer.

That brings me back to my original question, “Is technology patient- and family-centered




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