Taking Healthcare Communication to the Next Level

As most of you know, we’ve been doing an ongoing series of Healthcare Scene Interviews where we talk to top leaders in healthcare IT. They’ve been a huge success and we just passed our 50th video interview. If you’ve attended one of our live interviews, you know that we grew quite fond of the Blab platform that we used to host these interviews. Unfortunately, we just got word that Blab has been shutdown. It was a sad day, but we still have options.

While we loved Blab, we use to do our interviews on Google Hangouts and so we’re planning to go back there again to keep bringing you great content and discussion about the challenges that face Healthcare IT. Plus, Google Hangouts has been merged into YouTube Live and that brings some great opportunities for those watching both the live and recorded version at home including being able to Subscribe to Healthcare Scene on YouTube.

With that as background, I’m excited to announce our next Healthcare interview happening Friday August 19, 2016 at 11:30 AM ET (8:30 AM PT) where we’ll be talking about “Taking Healthcare Communication to the Next Level.” This is an extremely important and challenging topic, but we’ve lined up a number of incredible experts to take part in our discussion as you’ll see below:

Taking Healthcare Communication to the Next Level-Headshots

You can watch the interview live and even join in the conversation in the chat on the sidebar by watching on the Healthcare Scene YouTube page or the embedded video below:

(You’ll have to visit the YouTube page to see the live chat since the embed doesn’t include the chat.)

We look forward to learning about healthcare communication from this panel of experts. Please join us and offer your own insights in the chat or ask these amazing panelists your most challenging questions.

Be sure to Subscribe to Healthcare Scene on YouTube to be updated on our future interviews or watch our archive of past Healthcare Scene Interviews.

About the author

John Lynn

John Lynn

John Lynn is the Founder of HealthcareScene.com, a network of leading Healthcare IT resources. The flagship blog, Healthcare IT Today, contains over 13,000 articles with over half of the articles written by John. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 20 million times.

John manages Healthcare IT Central, the leading career Health IT job board. He also organizes the first of its kind conference and community focused on healthcare marketing, Healthcare and IT Marketing Conference, and a healthcare IT conference, EXPO.health, focused on practical healthcare IT innovation. John is an advisor to multiple healthcare IT companies. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can be found on Twitter: @techguy.


  • John,

    I enjoyed your panel discussion on health care communications. This is a field of great interest to me … and like you … I have written extensively about how doctors and patients communicate (or don’t).

    You asked the panel if health care is so different for other industries .. and whether that contributes to the slow uptake of health care communications (technology?). Your panels tended to play down the differences making the case that consumers want and expect to communicate with their health care providers the same way that they do in every other industry. But therein “lies the rub.”

    You see while consumers SAY they expect and want to be able to communicate their doctors digitally as they would their banker or whatever the reality is that when given the chance to actually “talk” with their doctor face-to-face … they don’t have much to say.

    Research over the last 40 years has consistently shown that patients talk a fraction of the time during routine office visits compared to physicians. Most of us as patients ask the doctor few questions, are reluctant to speak up without being invited to and are very unlikely to question or challenge the doctor even when we don’t agree with what they tell us. The fact is that from childhood, most of us have been socialized to assume a passive role with respect to interacting with physicians. Physicians define a “good patient” as someone who is passive during the office visit and does what they are told when they go home. The point is that consumers (people) aren’t expected to speak up and they know it. Worse consumers are not even aware of the change in their mindset that occurs once the exam room door closes … they just accepts that “that’s just the way it is”.

    If you think about, in no other consumer interaction are we as people “socialized” to behave in a such a prescribed manner, including our communications style. The same is true for physicians … who largely have been taught to diagnose and treat medical problems and not talk or get to know patients. Put another way, neither physicians’ or patients’ “role definitions” in the exam room encourage or support the kind of interpersonal engagement and communications (and concurrent trust building)necessary to support good fact-to-face communications. And if consumers don’t feel able to talk with their doctors in person they sure will not feel comfortable doing it online.

    In my company, we have discovered that to “disrupt” these established patterns of behavior we need to help physicians and patients reimagine their roles and responsibilities beginning in the exam room. We have also discovered that we need to show physicians and patients what they are doing now … and collectively show them the benefits of changing their attitudes and behavior towards on another.

    Once physicians and patients learn how to comfortably relate to one another in person will they be able and willing to productively engage one another online.

    This might make for an interesting topic for a future video discussion.

  • Thanks for your thoughtful comments Stephen. I think this topic is worth exploring more. We do have different cultural norms for communication in healthcare. This is probably true across people of different ages too.

    In my own personal experience, I want to talk with my doctor more, but always feel like I have to really push to have that conversation. I guess I’m pushing against what you describe as doctors “good patients.” I’m not a good patient according to their usual line of thinking, but will be in the future value based reimbursement world. Although, even though I have the desire, it’s a hard culture to change.

    Would love to learn more about how you’re changing that culture for both patients and doctors.

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