While Meaningful Use requirements and ICD-10 implementation continue to push healthcare organizations toward integrating electronic health records (EHRs) into daily operations, it is important that patients are not forgotten about. A hospital consultant can help facilities create a smooth transition, so staff members are knowledgeable but can still create a positive patient experience.
Research continues to show that more medical facilities are adopting EHRs, but there is still work to be done to ensure that physicians understand how to use new technology on a case-by-case basis.
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation recently released its annual report, showing that 44 percent of U.S. hospitals had a basic EHR system in place last year. That is nearly triple from 2010 and a 17 percent increase from 2011.
However, rural hospitals are lagging behind, the authors said. Changes also need to be made so patients understand everything that is available to them, in terms of communicating with their doctors. Two-way communication is key to developing strong relationships between patients and medical providers.
"There are particular challenges in providing materials that are readily accessible, linked to patient needs, and appropriate for low-literacy and LEP populations," the authors said in their report's conclusion. "Even with improved functionality, high-quality patient education still depends on clinicians and educators with the time and skills to tailor the right materials to the patient at the right time."
By partnering with a firm that specializes in healthcare IT consulting, medical facilities can ensure that all staff members are taught how to use new innovations and cater them to each patient. Even though healthcare organizations must adopt new technologies, it is still crucial that physicians can create as an enjoyable experience as possible for patients.