In the health care field, almost every discipline has lobbied for “family-centered” care. However, the dominant mode of delivery is still expert centered. Technology gives us the opportunity to bring the key family member (or preferred “fictive kin”) into any consultation.
WORK RELATED: There have been experiments where having ability to participate in family member care remotely reduces presenteeism at work.
ADAPTIVE TO HOME SITUATION: Using technology that is “off the shelf”, family member input can be obtained in advance or live, instructions and demonstrations can be recorded for review by the family and adaptation to the patient’s home situation enhanced. Brief videos of patient access to their living situation, sleeping and bathing accommodations can quickly bring realism to recommendations.
The health care team can load websites for patient and family access to FAQs and other resources compatible with the plans and monitoring of patient. Electronic health records can be modified to integrate family resources and burdens that impact health and ability to follow through with recommendations.
A true family centered approach embedded in technology platform would inventory devices, broadband access used by patient and family. Technical assistance would be available for selecting devices with multi function capability, coaching on use, and trouble shooting live support.