High-Tech vs. High Touch Service Design in Healthcare: A Case for Considering the Emotional Biorhythm of the Patient in Technology Interventions
The advent of Value Based Care (VBC) in the U.S. healthcare system has changed reimbursement models and shifted the paradigm of healthcare. Financial incentives not only reward clinical quality and outcomes, but they put more power in the hands of the patient and more emphasis on patient-centric care delivery models. To that end, service science has an increasingly respected seat at the table in the healthcare industry.
One of the predominant debates in healthcare service delivery today is how we will use health information technology (HIT) to improve access to and quality of care, as well as the patient experience. This chapter focuses on the latter—the patient experience. With specific attention given to patient-facing digital and mobile health tools, this chapter examines the literature on patient attitudes toward HIT and identifies a key gap in the research, namely that we have yet to apply core service design principles to the application of technology in healthcare. We argue the case for future research that examines (1) the unique emotional load of healthcare and thus the need to better understand the emotional biorhythm of a patient journey for effective HIT support, (2) the application of service science frameworks that can help account for essential characteristics such as the impact of time across a patient journey and the complexity and severity of the need within it and (3) the potential need to redefine success metrics given this patient-centric, service science perspective.
KeywordsE-health Health care service Patient experience Emotion Service design Operations management Healthcare consumerism Value-based care Health information technology
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