I’ve written a fair amount about technology advances in healthcare, innovations, the requirement for better communication, and even recent partnerships with technology giants as they seek to enter the healthcare sector. But, it’s important that these articles, both well-researched and intentional, don’t minimize the human aspect of healthcare.

Yes, I write about the exciting things occurring in healthcare. I write about artificial intelligence, blockchain, and a number of other cutting-edge developments in the industry. I write about these concepts because I believe some will have far-reaching and long-enduring impacts in healthcare as we know it today.

But, first and foremost, I write about these things because of what I ultimately believe they will do for patient care.

People have different ideas of what caring means. In my mind, it has to mean patient first. Caring is the intersection of exceptional service and warm engagement. It’s about making someone feel at home when their own home is out of reach. It’s about creating a sense of community and family with our patients.

Nurses are regularly ranked #1 for trust in Gallup polls. Think about that: a nurse – who may only see the patient for a brief period of time – can make such a significant impact on a person’s life that they feel comfortable putting their trust in them. While we are excited about the integration of artificial intelligence and other new modalities in healthcare, we must not overlook the patient-physician interaction. I think it’s important to periodically remember why we, as healthcare professionals, decided to enter the industry.

The truth is new technology cannot be a substitute for the fundamental basis of healthcare. In the end, a passion for humankind and a desire to help those in need is what will ensure the industry reaches new heights. Technology advancements, the integration of AI, and the implementation of new technology for better forms of communication are all, in the end, merely a means by which we can deliver improved healthcare.

Technology is an ever-changing medium. At one point in time, fax machines were the advancement everyone was raving about. But, while the medium or vehicle changes, the fundamental product or service stays the same.

Healthcare is patient first. We must strive to continually create a world of passionate and competent professionals that give their time to helping the ones entrusted to them. This is the call of healthcare professionals, and this is the journey and road of many of my colleagues who I have deep admiration for.

Through advancements and revolutions, remember we must always care.

Until next time – Jon Belsher