Electronic Health Records have proved to be beneficial in many ways. It is a merger of care and technology to improve healthcare. It can save a lot of time and effort of the physician for better patient dealing and treatment. But this is not the case always as many a times, physicians get stuck and waste a lot of their precious time in solving the technology hassles. Many a times the electronic health records distract the doctors from treating patients. But in most of the cases, simple solutions can fix this pivotal tool for smooth workflow.
Following solutions can improve EHR usability for physicians as well as patients:
EHR should be designed in the way that it should not come between face-to-face interactions of physician with his patients. It should not force the physician to spend more time documenting information in the EHR. Instead, EHR should be designed to enable physician-patient engagement and should seamlessly fit into the practice and be based on work flow needs. Moreover an EHR can be developed depending upon the size, specialty and setting of the physician. This kind of modular EHR would allow physicians to configure their health IT environment to best suit their work flows and patient populations.
Also there should not be any unwanted or time-wasting features such as pop-up reminders, cumbersome menus and poor user interfaces that will make it far more time consuming than paper charts. For all this and more, discuss your concerns with the vendor and customize your EHR according to your needs.
Support team-based care
EHR should be designed to maximize each person’s productivity, especially physicians. But if physician is not tech savvy and wastes his time in documenting the information in EHR, it may reduce his productivity. In these cases, support from other team members should be empowered to complete EHR, allowing physicians to delegate tasks as appropriate.
EHR should be interoperable and have a robust tracking system so that it can automatically track referrals, consultations, recommendations and labs. This will immensely help the physician in following the patient’s progression throughout their care. It will also save time and efforts of both patient and physician as time would not be wasted in physical sharing of the symptoms, reports, and previous consultation once all this information is stored in EHR. Such an EHR would facilitate connected health care across care settings and enable both exporting data and properly incorporating data from other systems as well.A patient ID would only be required and concerned physician can view the details and patient history at a single platform.
Reduce cognitive work load
EHR should be designed to support the medical decision-making process with concise, context-sensitive real-time data. This is because lack of context and overly structured datacan make interpretation difficult. This can be solved if the developers (IT) will create sophisticated and customized tools for reporting, analysing data and supporting decisions for each practice environment.
Facilitate digital patient engagement
An EHR should be interoperable with patients’ mobile and telehealth technologies to support digital patient engagement. It would be an asset for promoting health and wellness and managing chronic illnesses as patient can easily view his health records at the finger tips. Moreover with increased usage of mobile technology in every field, its use in healthcare should also be boosted for improved patient care and engagement.
Every EHR should have an automated feedback option that would allow its user to give context-sensitive feedback that can further be used to improve system performance and safety. These real-time feedbacks from the persons who are using itwill fix the system to support users and make it more and more user-friendly.
Advantages of Improved EHR
- Enhanced patient care
- Improved productivity
- Saved time and efforts
- Reduced administrative costs
All the above mentioned EHR improvements can prove to be highly beneficial in the delivery of high-quality and affordable care.
Matt Wilson – A Healthcare Expert, working with Aegis HealthTech as senior developer from last 5 years. He has extensive experience in Patient Portal Software Development and EHR integration consulting services.