Why Technology Alone Won’t Lead to Meaningful Patient Engagement

Healthcare providers are frequently turning to new technologies to keep patients engaged in their care. While such tools may enhance the patient experience, clicking a mouse or logging into a portal is not indicative of active patient engagement. Kyra Bobinet, a consulting faculty member of the Stanford School of Medicine, explains that these shiny new tools leave only fleeting, surface-level impressions. Technology, alone, is not the silver bullet to building lasting relationships with patients or engaging them in their care.

What Bobinet cites as the most critical factors of patient engagement are motivation and emotion. Caregivers can only connect with patients on a deeper level when they understand the factors that lead to excitement, the moments that elicit fear, and the words that bring comfort. When providers understand what truly resonates with patients, they can develop effective products and programs to make patients an active part of the care process.

CipherHealth recognizes that technology should be used to enhance personal connections between patients and caregivers, not foster impersonal experiences. CipherRounds, digital rounding solution, encourages purposeful touchpoints, helping staff communicate clearly with patients and encouraging patients to ask questions or express concerns. The patient’s feedback is not simply a means to complete a checklist, but instead is used to drive organization-wide improvements and influence the way care is delivered to each patient.

When patients return home from the hospital, they will not remember the high-tech gadgets used by their caregivers. What sticks with patients is how well the care team listened, and responded, to their individual thoughts and feelings. This doesn’t mean that providers should abandon technology, as it is a critical component in delivering high-quality care. Rather, providers must find the tools that enable an ever greater level of connection with their patient populations.

Contact CipherHealth today to understand how you can capitalize on technology to build meaningful patient engagement.


Ranked as the “Best Overall Patient Engagement Company” in MedTech's Breakthrough Awards for 2020, and the top-performing vendor for patient outreach and digital rounding by KLAS in 2019, CipherHealth is a proven technology partner committed to enhancing communication and coordination throughout the patient journey. CipherHealth’s suite of patient engagement software empowers healthcare organizations to foster meaningful connections to ensure the best possible outcomes for staff members, patients, and their loved ones.