Tag: patient satisfaction

New Age EHRs: Required Features and Functionalities To Ensure Patient and Physician Satisfaction

By Kali Durgampudi, chief technology, innovation officer, Greenway Health.

""
Kali Durgampudi

The electronic health record (EHR) industry continues to undergo a significant transformation, with many physicians asking themselves whether they consider their EHR a friend or a foe.

In too many cases, medical staff feel their EHR works against them, not for them. In fact, according to Medical Economics’ 2019 EHR score report, 60% of physicians said their current EHR system was harming their ability to engage with patients. In addition, The National Academy of Medicine found that as many as half of American physicians and nurses experience substantial symptoms of burnout. And, the same study found that poorly designed technology is a major contributing factor due to the increased amount of time needed to keep systems properly updated.

This should not be the case, and it’s time to change this narrative.

As we near a new year and a new decade, it’s time to focus on advancing EHRs to make the lives of physicians easier, while assisting in improving the patient experience, increasing engagement, enhancing administrative burdens, and more.

Required features and functionalities of EHRs in the next decade include:

Adaptability

Legacy EHR’s are typically thought of as outdated and lacking customization. Custom forms take months to build, cost extra and users ultimately lack control over the functionality. This is not acceptable by today’s standards. Every healthcare practice and specialty is different. So, the EHR must be customizable to fit each practices’ needs in order to optimize efficiency in data entry and management.

In addition, medical trends and challenges are constantly evolving. For example, opioid addiction has risen to epidemic levels in the United States, with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimating that more than 130 people die from an opioid overdose every day. Fortunately, health information technology has emerged as a powerful tool for tracking prescription activity.

Prescription drug monitoring programs (PDMPs) support the collection of prescription data, and an increasing number of U.S. states have mandated their use. Meanwhile, an in-workflow PDMP checking feature allows providers to check their state’s database without leaving their EHR workflow — saving time and increasing efficiency.

Advanced data tracking  

EHR’s hold a tremendous amount of data – data that can help physicians provide better care to a specific patient or population. Armed with these analytics, a practice can gain insight into population health — along with reporting requirements for government incentive programs and data to optimize billing and cash flow.

According to the CDC, six in 10 Americans live with a chronic condition such as heart disease, cancer, or diabetes, and about seven in 10 deaths each year are due to a chronic condition. Through its analytics capabilities, a population health management solution can help a practice determine its highest-risk patient groups, identify gaps in care, and reach out to patients to engage them in their care.

Data is powerful, but only if that data is organized, readable and actionable. So, when shopping for an EHR, consider one that’s integrated with analytics.

Smart decision making

The EHR of the next decade should be a tool for decision making. EHRs need to utilize advanced artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning to make smart suggestions based on data.

An EHR should not just track if a patient is following their care plan, but alert providers when a patient has missed certain critical elements and make suggestions on how best to proceed. As such, the technology can be used to play a larger role in lowering no-show rates and helping predict which patients will have the most success – or biggest challenges – with certain treatment plans.

EHR’s should also be capable of helping physicians make the best financial decisions for their practices. In addition to increasing practice efficiencies and costs, EHRs assist in offering reduced drug and treatment plans with expected costs.

Continue Reading

Jobs in healthcare

Enhancing Patient Care With Virtual Care Services

By Kannan Sreedhar, corporate consulting director of healthcare, Avaya.

Kannan Sreedhar

The need for value-based healthcare has never been greater in the United States. Research shows that six out of 10 adults have a chronic disease being treated, and 60 percent of those adults have more than one healthcare institution treating them. This number may grow, as 84 million Americans with prediabetes are already at risk of developing type 2 diabetes, heart disease, kidney failure and blindness.

In the face of this growing healthcare demand, the supply of medical generalists has been consistently trailing the supply of specialists. By 2030, a study from the Association of American Medical Colleges estimates a shortfall of between 14,800 and 49,300 primary care physicians, as well as a shortage in non-primary care specialties of between 33,800 and 72,700 physicians.

Compacting this issue, the U.S. population is estimated to grow nearly 11 percent by 2030, with those age 65 and older increasing by 50 percent. As physicians begin to retire too, this problem will be exacerbated.

While digital technology has been positively impacting access to healthcare services for quite some time, efficiencies, such as virtual care, need to be implemented widely in order to address the impending physician shortage, and maximize the delivery of quality care.

This implementation will be somewhat natural as patient access and services continue to evolve from live voice interactions to leveraging digital solutions. Several healthcare providers have made this step toward virtual care already, and are showing strong results for patient satisfaction.

A virtual visit pilot program conducted by Brigham and Women’s Hospital found a 97 percent satisfaction rate among patients with access to these new communications and care options, with 74 percent stating “that the interaction actually improved their relationship with their provider.” They also found that 87 percent of patients said they would have needed to come into the office to see a provider face to face if it weren’t for their virtual visit.

Kaiser Permanente Northern California (KPNC) have a similar offering, providing a suite of apps enabling members to exchange secure messages with their clinicians, create appointments, refill prescriptions, and view their lab results and medical records. As a result, the number of virtual visits has tripled to 10.5 million over last six years.

At Valley Health, a tele-ICU has provided a viable solution to reduce mortality rates. During the first year of its implementation, the technology helped save 125 lives, reduce ICU length of stay by 34 percent, and also reduce the sepsis mortality rate.

These examples show how virtual care can aid patients for when they first need help, but the care journey does not stop there. It continues with prescriptions, labs, imaging, and referrals to other care providers. In these instances, virtual care can be used as a follow-up and check-in tool so that patients no longer need to visit their physician in-person, they can quickly interact with them from the comfort of home.

Continue Reading

Jobs in healthcare

Technology that Drives Patient Satisfaction

Some fascinating information from Industry View related to the value of EMRs/EHRs and the technology that drives patient satisfaction, especially as it shines additional light on the patient perspective of the technology.

As detailed here, electronic health records are appealing to folks and their value is beginning to be known among consumers needing care.

Of particular interest is that 82 percent of patients believe they receive better quality of care when their doctors use electronic records, and nearly half believe they’ve had better experiences at the point of care when their docs use the technology.

Continue Reading

Jobs in healthcare