Human Technology Teamwork: Enhancing the Communication of Pain Between Patients and Providers

  • Lauren Aquino Shluzas
  • David Pickham
Part of the Understanding Innovation book series (UNDINNO)


There is an urgent need within hospitals to reduce the amount of time that clinicians spend interacting with computers, in order to increase direct patient engagement, complex problem solving abilities, and overall patient satisfaction. This research explores the application of design thinking in health IT systems engineering. It is motivated by a need to: (i) enable clinicians to capture data from patients in a more natural and intuitive way, (ii) increase the amount of time for face-to-face patient interaction, and (iii) increase the speed and accuracy of tasks requiring acute critical thinking skills for complex medical scenarios. Specially, through need-finding with patients and providers at Stanford Health Care, we narrowed the research focus to center on the application of technology to improve the communication of pain between patients and providers during post-operative care. We present must-have and nice-to-have features of an interactive pain management and assessment system, based on input from patients and providers; and illustrate early conceptual prototypes aimed at enhancing the social transaction between patients and caregivers in the communication of pain.

From a design thinking perspective, this research (i) examines the use of technology to capture “a digital story” of patient needs during the course of care; (ii) studies the impact of human augmentation on healthcare team performance; and (iii) explores the ways in which the seamless integration of technology into patients’ and providers’ lives can influence behavior change and health outcomes for situations requiring acute point-of-care interactions, particularly for pain management and assessment. We conclude this book chapter with insights into future work aimed at enhancing the communication of the pain experience between patients and clinicians.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Center for Design ResearchStanfordUSA
  2. 2.General Medical Disciplines, Stanford MedicineMenlo ParkUSA

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