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Compassionate Technology

Happy Spring Ahead Sunday!

This morning I woke up to the sun out and that was refreshing! The last several weeks have been so cold and dreary that the brightness shining through the window made for an already pleasant start to the day. After a brief walk this morning I was not ready to jump into anything yet. I decided to watch a video seminar that had been recommended to me on the topic of Compassionate Technology. 

I was intrigued by the combination of the term compassionate within technology. Compassionate Care is a common term in nursing and healthcare. Anyone involved in the human aspect of healthcare has to have a compassionate side to his/her/their self. However this was a first for me to see the word compassionate paired within technology. Technology tends to have a rigid, forceful, direct, and binary connotation when first introduced. 

Putting those two terms together caught my attention in the context of nursing and healthcare delivery. As nurses and healthcare professionals. we cannot deliver quality care today without being compassionate to the patient-centered needs of the individual AND leveraging technology to inform our knowledge of the patient and the patient's clinical needs. 

Yet, many continue to fear technology and remain timid at the capabilities that may further intimidate and/or challenge their abilities to focus on being able to optimally care for the patient or person. 

With this concept of compassionate technology, we must work together with those in development to ensure that what we know is needed from the perspective of the user, can be incorporated into design features. When we see users working around the established system, looking for quicker ways to do something or hacks, these are all clues of a mismatch between the technology build and the necessary workflow. 

The speaker in the video goes on to mention that collaborating with others who may not be technical builders or coders on aspects of what the technology should be able to do can assist in building compassionate technology. This is where I immediately thought of nurses and healthcare professionals, especially those in the roles today who are interacting with the IT department or vendors on a regular basis. 

A great way to help build and see deployed compassionate technology is to use your voice to advocate for how the technology needs to work and why. Building fields and drop downs is a linear process but workflows are dynamic. They have nuances that are not always known. You can help in this way. 

So, the next time that you are asked to provide input, consider this concept of compassionate technology and how you can help give input that will keep this front and center to the design, development, build, test, implementation, and optimization plan. 


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