The Importance of Language and the Power of Observation

Emma Hardt
Health IT encompasses many things, but at its core I think it is actually quite simple to understand. Health IT is about language, about how we communicate with one another. As leaders in the field, we are simply taking this fundamental human ability to connect and improving it for patients and their caregivers.
 
Decades ago, my company’s founder Frank Naeymi-Rad realized this core principle as he pursued his PhD at Chicago Medical School. While teaching, Frank saw a huge change in his students as they transitioned from their second to their third year of medical school—moving out of the classroom and into the clinic. Frank noticed that without fail, the way students described medical problems changed dramatically as they were introduced to the clinical vocabulary and phrases that would become the cornerstones of their future practices. 
 
Indeed, as the students picked up a bigger mental dictionary, Frank picked up on the power of words. Not just any words, but the exact right words to describe a diagnosis or a procedure. Through this language, the students were able to speak intelligently about patients when they conversed with more senior clinicians. Language began turning them into doctors.
 
This is the core reason why #IHeartHIT—because the idea of communicating exactly what we want to say and then being understood is something everyone can relate to, whether you’re in the field or not. On top of that, illness is truly non-discriminatory. I can’t think of anyone who hasn’t experienced being sick. Finding solutions in our market is about creating the technology, developing the user interface and testing demos before they go live. But all of these initiatives are simply ways of using our unique talents in a way that helps advance the core goal of HIT—to harness the power of technology in order to improve patient care.