November 27, 2012

Article

Pennsylvania medical system uses video to improve doctors’ bedside manner

Becoming a physician is not an easy journey. Doctors must progress through years of study, followed by a residency period, before becoming practicing physicians. Yet for all the knowledge gained in this process, one of the most important, and sometimes overlooked, aspects of medicine is bedside manner. Without an effective bedside manner, a doctor may not be able to ensure that his or her patients fully understand their diagnoses, which may diminish the overall quality of treatment.

As The Patriot-News reported, Pennsylvania's PinnacleHealth System recently began to utilize video content delivery to improve doctors' bedside manner training.

The organization hires actors to pretend to be patients, assigning them specific symptoms and backstories. The doctor in training treats these patients as he or she would real patients. The exchange is recorded and displayed in another room, where it is viewed in real time by a more experienced physician acting as a trainer. The trainee and trainer later watch the video together, with the trainer highlighting ways to improve bedside manner.

Additionally, the doctors in training will view footage of more experienced physicians attending to patients in order to gain a first-hand look at best practices in action.

According to the news source, the healthcare organization will train 100 doctors and physician's assistants at two hospitals with this technology. Officials hope that the program will lead to a higher level of care for patients in the Pinnacle health system.

However, for such a solution to work, it is necessary for the organization to ensure that systems are in place to allow for the smooth delivery of video between locations. To this end, a high-quality video content delivery system is critical.