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Patient Engagement with Microsoft
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Patient engagement couldn’t be a more critical part of your practice, hospital or clinic. Whether it’s the first time you’ve met with a patient, the third time, or even the last time – making sure you’re continuing to participate in your patients care is critical.
Healthcare has really undergone some changes when it comes to technology, and in turn so have the operations of providers, since 2008. Regardless of if you began moving to electronic health records (EHR) systems on your own, or you simply did it to keep accepting government-assisted patients and get “Meaningful Use Money”; the motivations aren’t relevant. You had to make a change, and while it seemed impossible at the time I’m sure you’ve adjusted to the changes; at least as much as you can within your busy schedule.
How did these new technologies help your ‘busy schedule’? Well, most doctors we work with that I’ve spoken to they’re now taking more patients, but that uptake has come with an uptake in the amount of time that is required from the physicians. In some cases, I’ve seen the same patient load cause a physician to spend more time just due to the new technology that was installed.
You have technology now… but your life is nothing but work
Why did you change to an EHR again? I asked twice, because after I mention “more tech, less time” your values will have most likely flipped from “seeing government-assisted patients” to “I want my life back”.
I see this far too much with new Matchless Healthcare clients. A team came in and gave them everything they paid for. They even trained everyone to ‘Expert Level’ – yet still, your time is lost. WHY?
Ok, I’ll get to the point.
EHR systems are not the end-all-be-all solution for Healthcare. Frankly, they don’t even come close. Sure, you can get Epic and have just about every feature you would ever want – but it will cost you more than a few Super Cars for the software, and a few limbs just to tip the installers (don’t tip your installers – it’s just for dramatic affect).
While some EHR’s are extremely feature rich, they all fail to solve all the needs of a private practice or a hospital.
Sure they’re going to tell you that this is the last piece of software you’ll ever need. That’s because they need to sell the software, but I can prove to you very simply how that’s not the case:
Doctor’s offices need email, just as any other business does. I have yet to see an EHR with a full email client built in – normally you accompany your EHR with Microsoft or Google (or another one of the thousand platforms out there).
That alone proves EHR’s don’t do everything, right? So we need solutions.
What pairs well with the EHR, Garcon?
Great question, and there is always an answer. Number 1 on my list is always “communications”. You need a way to get messages around the office – instantly. Sometimes you need one on one, sometimes you need to send something to a group; but no matter what, you need to communicate. Email is one way of doing this, but it’s not always the most efficient and with HIPAA regulations, you might (actually, should) be hesitant to allow everyone in the office to have an email account.
Beyond that, it’s based on your goals. But what I mostly want to focus on here is Patient Engagement.
Your EHR is going to do a decent job at Patient Engagement. To a certain degree.
Yes, you need to have a patient portal now to meet Meaningful Use. You need to be able to deliver medical records electronically (a flash drive will suffice, but we can do better than that). You need to make sure what you’re communicating with your patient is accurate. You need to have your assistants engage your patients. You need to have a secure method of doing so. You need to give your patient information about their condition, and handing them a pamphlet on the way out isn’t enough for most people.
I’m a doctor magnet. I don’t mean that as a businessman. I just completed my 7th surgery, and I’m an overactive grown child that is prone to hurting himself. I have a good amount of experience on both sides of the fence here.
Help me engage outside my Patient Portal
Again, there are many ways to engage. The first area I think of is providing more information to the patient about their ailment. The second place I think of is communicating with your medical team when the patient isn’t in for an appointment. I’m sure you can think of reasons three through three thousand.
Matchless IT has provided our Healthcare clients with many solutions that compliment their EHR as well as address the issues laid out in this story. We’ve provided tablets to patients with patient-focused, deep dive information about their condition(s) and what can and will be done for them. We’re provided communications methods for patients to talk to their providers, without getting in the way of the providers daily processes.
We do this with a consult. A free consult, of course. We talk about your pain points, what systems you have, your level of compliance and we take it from there.
There is no “one size fits all” solution for accompanying your EHR solution; even if it’s the same EHR as the last person we helped. Because your processes & procedures, and your EHR templates differ.
If you want to get your time back AND improve patient engagement, Contact Nick Kershner (your beloved tech-blog author/CTO) to setup a time to talk. Whether we can solve all your problems and deploy new applications, or you just want to ask me some questions about what some other people are doing – you can find me on the contact page below.
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Reach out – I would love to talk Healthcare Tech with you.
It’s just a quick call, email or contact form – your choice!
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