Electronic health records (EHRs) are changing the way doctors interact with patients. They provide a level of communication impossible by old methods of record keeping, and are quickly becoming the gateway to an interoperable and value-centric health system. A comprehensive and accessible EHR can boost the productivity of a practice many times over, giving both provider and patient happiness and satisfaction. Here we go over the ways an EHR enhances the patient-provider relationship.
EHRs provide patient portals
Patient portals are the gateway to effective communication between provider and patient. Patient portals allow patients to check results, schedule appointments, and message physicians from the comfort and privacy of home. They give patients a way to communicate with physicians without having to go in for an appointment. Patient portals allow for patients to make online payments, within the patient portal, without the the hassle of physical mail. Online payments are often more timely than physical payments, which are usually rushed through at the end of a billing cycle. Online payments are also paperless and on record at all times.
EHRs are the gateway for innovative patient interaction
A top-notch EHR is continually adapting to technology to promote interoperability and effective care. Whether by preparing for new value-based healthcare systems like MACRA, or utilizing innovative health platforms such as telemedicine, creating better patient outcomes through technology is a top priority. EHRs are utilizing new tools in data analysis such as population health management to provide more appropriate treatments for patients.
EHRs can improve patient safety
Not only do EHRs store medical records online, they can track prescription history, medication adherence, and allergies. A quality EHR checks for inconsistencies and provide vital information at the point of care, which can potentially be life-saving. Important medical information is instantly available, allowing doctors to spend less time asking for information. Less time going over information means more time treating the patient, leading to better patient outcomes.
EHRs facilitate transparency between doctors and patients
Because medical records are stored online, patients are able to see exactly what they are diagnosed with. While it might be unsettling for patients to see their exact diagnosis, it allows for honest communication between doctor and patient. EHRs keep patients informed and educated about their medical history, leading to quality patient experiences.
EHRs promote accessibility away from the practice
EHRs allow for medical files to be stored online, usually through a cloud-based system. Documentation accessible away from the practice allows both physicians and patients to review records from the comfort of home. EHRs give patients an avenue to look at their medical history and lab results without having to in for an appointment.
We view EHRs as the tool for managing the sweeping shift towards a value-based healthcare system. With programs like MACRA promoting value-based healthcare, and telemedicine offering unique patient engagement, EHRs will stand at the forefront of managing care. However, EHRs still have a long way to go. They must be a tool that clinical staff can manage without frustration or hassle, and they must be easy-to-use so patients can understand their health. EHRs can only enhance the patient-provider relationship if they work in concert with both providers and patients.
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