Technology Enables What is Truly Innovative: Trust

Author: Howard J. Luks, MD- Posted in: Medical Social Media, Orthopedic Social Media, Sports Medicine 7 Comments


firm belief in the reliability, truth, ability, or strength of someone or something.

Technology, technology, technology…

It is all we hear.


Let’s change the focus from “technology” … to the useful and meaningful processes that technology enables:

  • knowledge
  • sharing
  • communication
  • trust

Too many echo chambers pushing the same message day in and day out.

Technology is only an enabler, much like the social graph. They are tools… they are platforms… and if properly utilized, they may enable “disruption” or transformation. It is the few individuals, and I do mean a few, who know how to utilize these tools and platforms. They are pushing the envelope, producing meaningful, robust change – and gaining the trust of their “followers” along the way.

If patients don’t remember 75% of what a doctor tells them, is a pair of glasses going to change that?

If you are not engaged in shared decision-making, a process which has been proven to lead to “better” choices to suit needs, desires, and lifestyle – is an app going to change that?

The persistent, pervasive sad realities of our healthcare system

  • Patients are rarely placed in the center of the care episode.
  • Communication amongst most providers and patients is poor, at best.
  • Comprehension, and retention of information is poor, at best.
  • Healthcare literacy is rarely taken into account when an important discussion takes place.
  • Physicians are now an employed commodity, and may not be in the same practice when you return.

BUT… what it means to be human and innately social has not changed.

Becoming a Trusted Provider

At its heart, digital media is about people, it is about relationships, and it is about communication –– and trust!

trust-stonesWe now live in a collaborative economy enabled by the democratization of information, a social graph that enables sharing, and we have witnessed how “disruptive” the power of pull can be.

When patients search for and find information they deem useful, the author of that information becomes a trusted resource.

When patients can reach out to a provider in a time of need… via a platform or technology they are comfortable with … a trusting relationship emerges.

When patients know their values, desires, goals, and lifestyle have been considered in the decision-making process, they trust the provider who has assisted them throughout the process.

Patient Engagement

The healthcare system we have lived with for decades was founded on the principle of authority. The doctor spoke… the patient listened.

This doesn’t work very well.

The democratization of information, and the platforms that enable knowledge sharing have all started to level the playing field.  The patient is becoming part of the team — their care team. They are being armed with knowledge (content), data (access to their EMR) and an empowered voice. Are you listening?

Meaningful engagement means to inform, engage, empower, partner with, and support – the patient.

Framework Graphic

Patient Engagement Framework

According to the National eCollaborative, 96% of stakeholders say they strongly agree that engaging consumers in their care is critical to transformation. The transformation needs trusted providers.

Lead the Change

Are you a trusted provider?  Is that at risk as our healthcare landscape evolves? I propose that it is… I for one do not plan on being a commodity.  I am a physician, a brand, and an educator… and my “global” practice is mobile and serving the needs of all in search of information.

Don't miss an article. Signup to Dr. Luks' Social Media Newsletter

Don't miss an article. Signup to Dr. Luks' Orthopedic Newsletter

Tags: , , , , , , ,

7 Responses to “Technology Enables What is Truly Innovative: Trust”

  1. Reply Technology Enables What is Truly Innovative: Tr... says:

    […] Are you a trusted provider? Let's change our focus to the useful and meaningful processes that technology enables: knowledge, sharing, communication, trust.  […]

  2. Reply Courtney says:

    This is beautifully done, Dr. Luks. I was able to be at the Friedrich’s Ataxia Symposium at CHoP yesterday, and it was great to see the engaged patients and their engaged providers in action to help share research, collaborate, and work for a cure. The patient IS a very important part of the team.

    Thanks for getting these thoughts out.

  3. Reply Will Schupp, MD says:

    Dr. Luks,

    I am a long time RSS follower. This is a brilliant summary of the problem and what we should do from a conceptual standpoint. The problem is, our systems aren’t designed to do anything like this. And, if they did, the culture hasn’t changed yet.

    I run a direct primary care practice, where I’ve eliminated incentives outside of the doctor-patient relationship. The first Direct Primary Care Summit was last weekend, and it is an incredible “movement” towards restoring that relationship and engaging patients. My patients have unlimited access and clinic time. But, I can tell you that it’s still a major challenge to do what you are describing here. Having a trusting relationship is a great first step, and it should be a relatively easy one compared to the rest of the process.

    There are promising studies on this. For example, Kaiser found an 88% reduction in mortality after a heart attack if you enroll patients in a patient engagement program. Logically, we should all want to do this, and Direct Primary Care practices tout this as a benefit. But, if you actually read what they do in these studies, you’ll see that we don’t use integrated systems that come close to a true patient engagement program. This has to change.

    I just went on a long-winded rant about this on my blog.

    Will Schupp, MD

    • Reply Howard J. Luks, MD says:

      Thanks Sr Schupp !
      I appreciate your words of wisdom. I applaud you and your efforts and appreciate your thoughts on this hugely important topic.

  4. Reply Ortopedia Sao Paulo says:

    Dear Dr. Luks,

    First off, congratulations on the fantastic blog! It’s a real resource for any sports medicine doctor. This article in particular is very useful, specially for a surgeon from Brazil, where technology is still more limited than in the USA.

    All the best!

    Dr. Paulo

Leave a Reply

Comment Disclaimer

By reading this blog, you agree not to use this blog as medical advice to treat any medical condition in either yourself or others, including but not limited to patients that you are treating. Consult your own physician for any medical issues that you may be having. This entire disclaimer also applies to any guests or contributors to the blog. Under no circumstances shall this blog or any contributors to the blog be responsible for damages arising from use of the blog.

Furthermore, this blog should not be used in any legal capacity whatsoever, including but not limited to establishing “standard of care” in a legal sense or as a basis for expert witness testimony. No guarantee is given regarding the accuracy of any statements or opinions made on the blog.