Cleveland Clinic CXO: Apps are not the way to patient engagement

Despite the myriad of positive impacts technology has on society, Cleveland Clinic CXO Adrienne Boissy, MD, argues that apps can negatively impact patient engagement, according to

Dr. Boissy claimed traditional patient engagement techniques don't ask patients what they want. Although Cleveland Clinic patients worry most about delays, there isn't an app that addresses that.

"I just learned the Cleveland Clinic has 22 apps, many of which haven't been updated for several years," said Dr. Boissy. "You can see where, in the patient's lens, it makes no sense. ... Increasing the volume of stuff doesn't do that. Nor does it help the brand that you're hoping to put forward."

Other patients don't even want to be engaged because speaking to their physician only reminds them of the fact that they're ill and need to be treated.

"As a multiple sclerosis physician, I can tell you the vast majority of my patients hate coming to see me," said Dr. Boissy. "They hate to be reminded they have MS. The best thing I can do to engage them is to leave them alone."

As Cleveland Clinic works to consistently gather more patient feedback, Dr. Boissy stressed that healthcare providers should rethink what it means to engage patients.

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