Thanks to remarkable advances in technology over the past few years, healthcare organizations can effectively streamline their processes and reduce clinical burden. Electronic health records (EHRs) are especially useful for accessing information or transferring vital records among healthcare providers. That being said, EHRs still have a long way to go in terms of usability and innovation.
Now more than ever, it is essential for physicians to provide input into EHR designs to help optimization. Even though physicians are their main users, traditional EHRs were initially designed to improve billing and payment reimbursement efficiency.
So, what is an EHR experience that physicians want? Learn what doctors have to say in our latest article.
What Are EHRs?
Offering a basic overview of EHRs and their impact on patient care
An electronic health record (EHR) is a digital version of a patient’s paper health chart. You can find a patient’s medical information, current medications, test results, allergies, treatment plans, and more in their EHR. Unlike traditional paper health records, EHRs can be accessed instantly and from almost any location that offers wi-fi services. Your healthcare providers can use the information on your EHR to make informed decisions about your care.
EHRs offer a number of benefits including:
- Improved patient care
- The ability to let patients take charge of their medical care
- Better communication between patients and physicians
Improved Patient Care
EHRs can help physicians drastically improve their patient care. By referencing accurate and up-to-date information on their patients, they can make smart and informed decisions regarding treatment plans or prescriptions. Using EHRs improves the quality of care, patient outcomes and improves communication among primary care providers, patients, and other providers involved in care.
Increase in Active Patients
Patients with access to their EHRs are more likely to stay engaged in their healthcare treatment. Staying informed with their physician’s healthcare treatments and decisions can help ease any worries or anxieties about their current health. Seeing their records may also encourage them to practice more active roles in their care and overall health improvement.
Better Communication Between Patients and Physicians
Being able to access patient records quickly also makes it easier to coordinate treatment plans with other physicians. Traditionally, offices would have to reach out to other practices over-the-phone to access pertinent information on their patients. Nowadays, they can access their patients’ EHRs without having to jump through dozens of hoops.
What Physicians Want in Their EHRs
Asking yourself what EHR experience physicians need will ultimately help you improve it in the long run
In theory, EHRs should make physicians’ lives easier, not harder. Unfortunately, some EHRs are clunky, disorganized, and difficult to navigate. Physicians have dozens of tasks to focus on at one time, and therefore would rather not have to worry about learning how to use a system that isn’t very user-friendly. That’s why it’s so crucial to listen to what they have to say about these systems.
Here are some things that physicians would like from their EHRs:
- Increased flexibility for workflows
- Automation or ability to quickly complete routine tasks
- Quick access to relevant data for a patient
Because symptoms can sometimes present themselves differently among patients, physicians might need to use different workflows when recording them. The overall appointment process can also vary among patients. One patient might be ready to share their current symptoms, while another might want to bring up a particular part of their life first. As a result, physicians need more flexible workflows from EHRs to help meet each patient's needs.
Automation for Repetitive Tasks
Repetitive tasks like refilling prescriptions and reviewing test results take up a large portion of a physicians’ day. These administrative tasks can quickly grow tedious and even play a large role in physician burn-out. One thing that EHRs can do is to automate certain tasks. This way, physicians can spend more time delivering high-quality patient care and less time completing boring and repetitive tasks.
Quick Access to Data
Physicians can source patient records from several different places, such as other providers and healthcare payers. Organizing this data is crucial for allowing physicians to search for what they need promptly. Filtering out data that isn’t relevant can improve clinical outcomes as doctors only have to focus on the relevant information pertaining to their current situation.
Improving EHRs comes with a unique set of challenges. Not only are you sometimes working with vague demands, but you are also dealing with an industry that is highly regulated. However, IT developers have been making progress in improving current EHRs. As a result, we have a high chance of enjoying these improvements in the near future.
Because physicians are the end-users of EHRs, they need to be involved with design to improve workflow and usability. Physician input is essential for EHRs to improve their health care technology solutions and validate the importance of integrating technology into daily operations. If you need assistance for improving integration with your EHRs, you should consider partnering with Iron Bridge. Get in touch with the team today to get started!