We hear about smart cars and smartphones, smart cities, and smart manufacturing plants a lot these days. We expect the greater use of technology to alleviate many of the problems faced by these entities and create some solutions. Can a smart office exist in a similar vein?
To my mind, we can attempt an acronym for SMART medical office. Such a location would deploy advanced technology, medical and informational, but also not minimize the human element of medical care. Ruthless efficiency is possible only to a certain extent in medical practices. And an attempt to make technology paramount to the exclusion of the healer’s art would be immensely detrimental to patient care and outcomes.
We can optimize healthcare with technological advancements with improved adaptive behavior – this adaptive behavior encompasses how humans address processes, behave with each other, communicate, form teams and build contacts, and develop them.
Besides technology, we also need a mastery of medical knowledge, evaluation, and treatment, and thus, the best providers and staff. Technology by itself is useless if the practitioners are not well-trained in medicine. And by medicine, I do not mean only Western Medicine but an integral medicine where the provider uses the best possible avenues to get the patient better.
Besides the optimum technology and expertise in medical knowledge and skills, we should not forget that the effectiveness of medicine is highly dependent on the relationship between patient and provider and patient and staff. Without this deep engagement, all the technology and mastery in medicine will fail.
Eventually, the office forms part of a service industry with all the attendant requirements and necessities. Healthcare is not a product like an iPhone or router. Our biggest mistake is when we do not see the difference.
Finally, there comes the mysterious aspect of medicine, where it reaches the most intimate levels, like that of a priest and the parishioner, where personal space disappears. It is the human touch that leads to healing. Patient comfort, safety, and education become critically important. Coordinated care, compliance, and continuity of care form the foundation of a quality organization.
All incremental elements – technology, medical expertise, strong and deep relationships, and human touch – must synergize to make a SMART medical office possible.
Thus, the acronym for SMART, to my mind, would stand for:
- S: Synergy or Synthesis of medical knowledge, technology, quality service, and healing touch
- M: Medical Expertise among providers and staff
- A: Advanced technology, medical and informational, to facilitate care
- R: Relationships between patient and providers and staff as part of Service
- T: Touch, human, and healing
The concept of a SMART medical office brings together the best of technology, medical expertise, strong relationships, and the healing touch. It is not solely about advanced tools and efficiency but about synergy and synthesis. By integrating these incremental elements, we can create a healthcare environment that optimizes patient care, fosters deep engagement, and delivers holistic healing. A SMART medical office recognizes the unique nature of healthcare as a service industry and cherishes the invaluable human aspect that underlies the practice of medicine.