When it comes to health records, some patients engage with them about as much as a waiting room magazine: they may pick it up, but only to casually flip through and not to analyze the content inside.
For many medical practices, the issue with electronic health records is not in providing the record to the patient. It’s getting the patients to really engage and look at them.
Fortunately, the right electronic health record (EHR) software can make a big difference. Here’s how to get your patients truly engaged with their electronic health records.
As many physicians know well by now, an EHR is a digital record of a patient’s medical history. Digital patient records are a key part of helping patients manage their own health, and allowing physicians to better coordinate their care.
On top of that, they help save time on insurance claims and other administrative tasks, and let physicians spend more time providing truly individualized patient care.
So, how do physicians get patients involved?
EHR Patient Portals
Many EHR systems come with an online portal that lets patients access their medical records anytime. A patient portal provides a patient workflow that not only gives patient access to their medical history, but also allows them to better manage their healthcare through:
- Making appointments
- Requesting a prescription refill
- Completing intake forms prior to a visit
- Paying bills online
- Receiving health alerts
- Doing a keyword/topic search for health education
- Messaging/emailing their physician
Allowing patients to do all these tasks through a patient portal accomplishes two things. First, it makes it easier for patients to get their medicine refilled or make an appointment. That means overall better treatment adherence and better care outcomes.
Second, having easy access to all these tasks online, in one place, means the patient is more likely to visit the portal. Being able to message their physician—instead of waiting for an appointment—is an incredible benefit for patients.
Once they’re logged in, you have a golden opportunity. They’re more likely to view their medical records when they’re already on the screen. You can also post alerts or announcements in their account that encourage them to view their records or recent test results.
Additionally, try sharing informational brochures and tutorial pamphlets to help patients learn about the portal and how to use it. Informing patients about the benefits of the portal can help get more of your patients using it.
In the digital age, the healthcare industry has a huge opportunity to improve patient engagement and make patients more empowered managers of their care. Put your EHR software to work and watch your patient care really take off.