It is no secret that electronic healthcare records are revolutionizing the healthcare industry. And while many of these benefits are enjoyed on the administrative side of running a medical facility, there are also many advantages to be gained by patients too. For now, let’s take a closer look at the four ways patients are benefiting from electronic healthcare records (EHR).
1) Better Appointment Scheduling
EHR programs don’t have appointment scheduling features, but they can be integrated with scheduling systems. Integrating the two systems will help enhance appointment scheduling because it can ensure certain clinical protocols and guidelines are being met. For example, some procedures require pre-op appointments, and with the integration of an EHR program and practice management system, it becomes simple to look at a patient’s health records to see if all protocols and guidelines have been met before appointments are set.
2) Enhanced Patient Participation
One of the most advantageous benefits of EHR systems from a patient’s point of view is that it gives them unlimited and convenient access to their medical records. This allows them to become more active in the management of their health. When waiting for test results, patients can log in to see if any results have been posted. It also enables them to check their records for valuable physician recommendations and suggestions. Take for example a physician suggests a patient take part in 20 minutes of cardio exercise three times a week and 15 minutes of meditation twice a week, but the patient becomes confused with the suggestions once he gets home. With EHRs, a patient can log into his or her patient portal and easily review the suggestions for clarification.
3) Less Confusion Regarding Complicated Medical Histories
Many patients have extremely complicated medical histories, making it difficult for them to remember which vaccines they have had. An EHR system, however, keeps a detailed overview of each patient, allowing pertinent information to be viewed by physicians at any given time. This allows for higher quality healthcare to be delivered to each patient on an individualized basis. In the past, access to lab results was extremely limited. Not only did this delay a patient’s ability to learn the results of lab tests, but it would often lead to repeat testing. Physicians would be unsure as to whether a patient had taken a certain test so they would repeat the test; this further delayed results and was very time-consuming for both the physicians and patients. With EHRs, though, there is no need to repeat tests because access to all performed tests and their results is readily available.
4) Instant Access Increases Convenience
Lastly, with instant access to healthcare records, patients can easily download and print their medical histories and take them along to other physician appointments. This proves to be of value when visiting doctors who are not in the same network. When physicians have access to these comprehensive overviews of their patients, they are better able to pinpoint conditions, deliver accurate diagnoses and create effective treatment plans.
Physicians will testify to the fact that EHR systems have revolutionized the healthcare industry. The benefits have also greatly improved patient satisfaction. By eliminating unnecessary paperwork, providing access to pertinent health records, and improving communication among various physicians, the benefits for patients are numerous. Now is the time to encourage your patients to take ownership of their health and it all starts with providing them with access to their health records.