3 ways your patients can inform your EHR selection

Patients are the essence of any successful healthcare organization. In order to thrive, it is critical for the clinical practice to retain patients, and so patient satisfaction is of the utmost importance. For this reason, patients can be an excellent resource when selecting your electronic health record system.

There are several advantages to consulting your existing and trusted patients. One is that your patients will feel valued and respected, an important component to your medical practice. In addition, it can be difficult to understand the patient experience from the clinical side of the practice. When asked, patients will likely give honest and constructive input, because they realize that the EHR selection will have an impact on their own care.

Here are three ways your patients can help with EHR selection:

1. Accessibility and education

Your patients may indicate that they would appreciate access to their own medical information and post-visit summaries. Patients are becoming more and more involved in their health awareness and treatment plans. Offering an online patient portal creates less work for the front office staff, while giving patients the autonomy to access their own medical history. Many online portals also offer educational material and links to other educational resources related to the patient’s health condition. In addition to accessibility, interfacing information with other laboratories, pharmacies, or specialties can increase both operational efficiency and patient satisfaction.

Recommended Reading: EHR Selection Survival Guide - Find the right EHR system for your practice and your patients

2. Appointment and health related reminders

In our increasingly technology-rich society, patients are relying more on their smartphones and electronic devices for appointment tracking and scheduling. Patients may indicate that they would like to receive automated reminders for their appointments or needed tests. An EHR system can provide these through text messaging, email or automated phone calls, streamlining your practice’s internal processes. Of course, depending on your clientele, mailing reminder postcards or personal phone calls may be more appropriate. Intake processes with an EHR system will allow the medical practice to capture which form of communication is prefered with each new patient. This way, the practice can tailor the way that patients receive their reminders and communications.

3. Quality improvement systems

If your clinic practice services patients who have chronic diseases and concurrent medical comorbidities (and with the aging population, most clinics practices do), then utilizing a system that offers quality improvement systems may be extremely beneficial. Analyze the top three common diagnoses in your practice and see if they would benefit from increased patient accountability and monitoring. For example, you can look for a system with capabilities to capable of monitoring and tracking for ongoing health care reminders for patients with diabetes, will alerting them about for regular A1C checks and foot examinations. Another beneficial tool is medication management, which searches for any potential drug-to-drug interactions and provides dosing guidelines. In this way, your practice’s patients’ profile can help you choose an EHR system that helps support quality of care remains excellent and a high level of comprehensive care.

A simple verbal or written survey is an easy way to find out what is most important to your patients in regard to their own health records and accessibility, which in itself can improve patient satisfaction with your practice.

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Jeff Green

About the author…

Jeff Green, MPH, JD works as a freelance writer and consultant in the Healthcare information Technology Space.

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Jeff Green

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