Within the IT healthcare industry, there is a lot of focus on technicalities through what a system can provide towards a practices workflow and overall efficiency. But the true underlying mission of an EMR system should not be held solely on providing benefit to help streamline services. It should focus on making sure that the system in use, first and foremost, alleviates time away from clinical work and allows hyper focus directed towards the patient and their well-being.
Throughout the many articles and review sites commenting on EMR software use, it seems to be a trend to only discuss a systems functionality towards the practices internal needs. While these are important, often the conversation around how the EMR will directly affect the patient is swept under the rug.
To disrupt the noise and emphasize elements an EMR provides specifically towards the patient, it’s important to analyze what variables are being touched on. So next time you find yourself in the market for a system, you can be conscious on the factors a system should be providing to maximize patient well-being and bring back interpersonal communication to healthcare.
For providers to have full transparency with their patients in terms of assessing and determining problems the patient is having, a solid interpersonal relationship is the fundamental basis. To reach a strong level of communication, EMR steps in to cut time in half and offer face-to-face interaction. With more patient interactions, there have been spikes in best practices that truly reduce negative factors working against patients.
Decreased Health Risks
An alarming number of incidents directly health-related (that unfortunately lead to death) are resulted from little to no communication between the patient and facing provider. In many cases it is the lack of awareness from provider to patient that become extremely dangerous; the provider puts more time into technicalities of their workflow and other area’s where an EMR would lift the workload burden on.
Looking at the extent this issue can extend to, there are several cases in which suicide was conducted when patients found out they were diagnosed with a chronic disease. These instances could have been avoided with more attention to the client and simply allocating more time to interpersonal relations. The National Center for Biotechnology Information agrees that the quality of a patient’s care is directed by physician attention, and systems are a great way to attain this level of communication:
“The EMR improves attainment of chronic disease management, prevention, and screening targets, as shown in studies that demonstrated improved quality measures.”
Malpractice & Interoperability
Communication is a major factor when it comes to occurring malpractice. Having any little piece of information that off-tracks away correlating correct information can be lethal. With proper attention towards interpersonal communication, the provider can have complete control over what the patients is being prescribed, any allergies, and so on. And in the instance that a patient is dealing with another provider, having that mutual understanding towards the patient’s condition will provide further reduction in malpractice.
Strengthen Physician – Patient Relationship
Nothing could be more valued or even kept dearer than a strong relationship between a patient and their physician. Cultivating and nurturing this relationship keeps satisfaction rates high and becomes an incentive for a patient to stick with a specific doctor which also proves higher positive rates across the board for the patient. This is another huge element that EMR offers which may come off as logical, yet is not brought to light as much as the tangible effects a system has on internal functions of a practice.
Within this relationship model, there are a lot of variables at work that provide a positive relationship. Consider faster patient encounters: Heightened convenience through things such as E-Prescribing and online communication (Patient Portals). NCBI discusses how EMR has improved relationships partly due to the element of communication without being face-to-face with the physician:
“Electronic medical records might also improve communication with patients through the use of patient portals and personal health records, which more effectively engage patients in managing their own care.”
The secret to a fluid relationship between patient and physician comes down to their interpersonal relationship. And the underlying motive behind a provider’s mindset in demonstrating a foundation value for the overall well-being for those who step into a providers practice.