While the electronic health record (EHR) was originally perceived as a provider-side innovation — a means for healthcare teams to better coordinate and manage patient care — it has become an indispensable tool for driving patient engagement. No longer just a data tracking solution, the EHR is a key launching point for improving patient-provider interaction and creating a collaborative care model.
1. Access to health records gets patients using your portal.
Patient portals have become the hub for increasing patient engagement. However, providers find that once they implement a portal solution, they are still faced with the challenge of getting patients to use it. Often, the first time a patient logs in to the portal will be to access test results from a recent visit. Once there, it’s easy to explore other parts of his or her EHR, along with other portal features that boost engagement, like prescription and appointment reminders, educational materials, and easy communication with physicians. You can also take advantage of numerous opportunities to promote your patient portal while the patient is in the office.
2.Physicians and patients can review EHR data together.
Physicians and patients access EHRs through different portals, but that doesn’t mean they can’t look at health records together. In fact, bringing the EHR into the appointment affords a valuable opportunity for a patient to ask questions and get the background on physician recommendations. In particular, visuals have a lot of potential. For example, a physician can walk a patient through charts showing how his or her BMI or cholesterol readings have changed over time, with recommendations on how to move forward. This kind of tech-assisted interaction generates a collaborative process between provider and patient, leading to increased patient engagement.
3. EHR-integrated voice recognition means no notes and better quality facetime.
As demands on physicians multiply, patient visits get shorter. This is a challenge for both providers and patients, and it’s essential to find strategies for making the most of the appointment. Quality facetime is one way to do this, and voice recognition software that records doctor’s notes for the EHR prevents documentation from standing in the way. The result is a better opportunity to build a positive and productive patient-provider relationship.
4. Patient education materials paired with EHRs equip patients with the information they need.
In order to play an active role in decisions about their health, patients want and need to see the data and learn about their health conditions. When you set patients up with a portal for reviewing their EHRs, you also have an opportunity to make that portal a one-stop shop where they can find patient education materials that help them to understand their records. An interface that gives patients quick access to information about tests and results can be especially useful. Meanwhile, physicians can use EHRs to provide patients with targeted education materials that further engage them in the decision making process.
Want to learn more about increasing patient engagement with an EHR? Call us at (480) 782-1116 to ask a question or learn more about our powerful EMR software.