As we continuously increase our utilization of technology and Artificial Intelligence (AI) in our day-to-day healthcare delivery, understanding how this impacts trust between physician and patient is a vital consideration. Historically, the relationship between a physician and their patient held the highest degree of intimacy, privacy, and assurance. Knowing this, it is right to consider; how does one leverage new technology and enhancements in care delivery without affecting that confidence? In fact, taking this one step further, how do we embrace communal relationships to enhance trust allowing us to incorporate the benefit of newer modalities and innovation in treatment plans?
Trust builds upon three premises, competency, motive, and transparency. Since patients deem their providers at the top of the competency pyramid, we must embrace AI and technology, including the internet, as a mode of enhanced competency. Hence, it behooves us to partner with those we serve in helping them understand what information is valuable, and the importance of data in diagnosis and treatments. It is important that we dissuade the perception that information and data obtained from nonhuman modalities is threatening and is better yet, a more concise tool to inform our decision making. Making sure we still consider our patients fear of their privacy being impacted, let us also consider explaining how data is collected, stored and ultimately, used.
Sharing our motives with those that entrust their care to us is equally crucial. One may view the implementation of machine information as detaching us from our duties. However, embracing AI and technology actually elevates our ability to deliver on our altruistic motivations of care and healing as we are focused on using the best tools we can to care for our patients. Having the best interests of the patients must remain as our centerpiece, and we obligate ourselves to share how we intertwine progress with our commitment to our calling.
Lastly, transparency is foundational to trust. Being open in our communications with our patients concerning the benefits, pitfalls, and sharing of personal information will elevate the trust of such tools. With shared decision-making and the push for transparency, our patients don’t have to just “take our word for it,” they can trust they have the full picture of their care and the decisions we are making on their behalf.
Our ecosystem continues to evolve as technology, and AI permeates all aspects of our life.
In preparing for the future, AI and technology are likely to influence our relationships in ways that are unimaginable. Let us embrace this state-of-the-art era in a way that will not challenge the patient/provider relationship, instead, let us use it to elevate it to new heights. We must encircle ourselves in the understanding of its value and leverage new learnings and modalities while focusing its usage on strengthening our relationships.