Becoming a Digital Patient: The role of technology in the doctor-patient relationship

Read below the interview with Dr. Timothy Low, proud recipient of the “50 Most Talented Healthcare Leaders of Asia” and “Best CEO of the Year” Awards in 2016 and 2017 and get inspired by his leadership insights.

 

Dr. Timothy Low
Board of Directors
Farrer Park Hospital

 

Farrer Park has been a proud recipient of multiple service excellence awards in recent years. What are the key initiatives launched and implemented under your swift leadership that enabled the effective delivery of high-quality patient experience?

When I was first introduced to the innovative concept of Farrer Park Hospital, I was taken with the founding doctors’ principles of Good Medicine: Comfort, Fairness and Value. In the face of big businesses and spiraling costs, it was indeed refreshing. I am excited to bring these principles to life. This requires a team that is able to translate our vision into individual experiences for our patients. As such, building a culture of trust, responsibility and camaraderie was essential. The power of one – where everyone is united in purpose. Then we equip them with the right skills so that they are empowered to perform.

Putting an efficient and effective team in place was vital at the early stage of my plan. Without the team leads, it would not have been possible.

We have won multiple awards because we have been eager to benchmark ourselves in the region to see where we stand among our peers in the healthcare industry. I am honored by the recognition we received. Over 20 awards within 18 months of our official opening.

 

 

Which current challenges within healthcare do you see as affecting patient satisfaction? What are your suggestions to overcome them?

As patients become more well informed and well heeled, they are looking for experiences. They want to be an active participant in their healthcare journey and not simply be told what to do. Often, the patient has no voice as they are instructed by providers on a standard care plan and told that the plan has been carefully crafted with the patient in mind. But every patient is different. Their needs, wants and concerns are different and so is the way they communicate. That is why I ensure my team is well versed in service attitude and language. No matter how well meaning, if the patient does not perceive that their voice is heard, the experience will fall short.

As a visionary healthcare leader, how do you define the way forward for patient care that harmonizes across all departments?

You need a good team in place that buys into a singular vision. A team that is resourced and empowered to perform. A structure of constant and effective communication to the team and to your stakeholders.

What kinds of healthcare IT innovations do you see as redefining the patient-doctor relationship?

The power balance has shifted with the advent of the information age. There is so much information available online, and the patient has a vast ability to track, monitor and share his own personal health data. This allows the patient to be an active participant. The patient wants to be in the discussion with the clinicians in regard to their care plan and is no longer satisfied with being instructed.