Patient centric healthcare Transitions to

Patient Engagement in Health Technology

Interactions in patient healthcare technology can be improved by Health informatics application developers according to a Perspective published in the Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association.  

Details of Perspective

The authors, Rupa Valdez of the University of Virginia;Richard Holden of Vanderbilt University;Laurie Novak of Vanderbilt University; andTiffany Veinot of the University of Michigan (Valdez et al., JAMIA, 8/14) highlight what they dub “patient work”.  This is defined as the work that both patients and their support system (family members) do to maintain optimal  healthcare. (FierceHealthIT, 8/18).

They noted that a “patient work approach to [consumer health informatics] draws on medical social science and human factors engineering models and simultaneously attends to patients, their family members, activities and context” (JAMIA, 8/14).

In the perspective, 5 key components were designated  to better align technology with patient work and patient desires:

  1. The individuals involved
  2. The physical environment
  3. The social-organizational environment
  4. The tasks to be completed
  5. The tools that will be used

The authors noted that” if health technology used by patients adequately addresses those components, there is an increased likelihood that patients will perform a task correctly and use IT tools to self-manage their health” (FierceHealthIT, 8/18).

According to the Perspective, future research is necessary to improve:

  • Techniques for incorporating knowledge and understanding of patient work into the design of consumer health applications;
  • Theories of patient work; and
  • Ways to analyze patient work.

The authors concluded, “Advancing a patient work approach within [consumer health informatics] is integral to developing and deploying consumer-facing technologies that are integrated with patients’ everyday lives” (JAMIA, 8/14).

For additional information on how patients can talk responsibility for their health, check out “Power to the Patient: The Medical Strategist” at: