Patient engagement: medical paternalism is over

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Despite all the buzz surrounding the phrase, the concept of patient engagement is not new. Rather, physicians have been engaging the people they treat for some time. What has changed, however, are the technologies available to take that relationship into a new phase. 

"The era of paternalism in medicine is over," said Seth Bokser, MD, medical director of IT at the University of California-San Francisco's Women's Hospital and Benioff Children's Hospital. "Patients are full partners in their care, and we are using technology to help bridge education and communication gaps."

Bokser will delve into that topic during his presentation "Health 2.0 for Women and Children – Opportunities and Challenges" at the HIMSS and Healthcare IT NewsPatient Engagement Summit

Whereas Bokser said that previous generations of patient engagement encompassed clinician-facing technologies that were instrumental in making healthcare safer as well as more consistent and efficient, today's incarnation is all about tools that enable patients.