Is your EHR clinically valuable?

The goals of healthcare technology for your independent practice, including electronic health records (EHRs), include improved efficiency of operations and improved patient outcomes. Is your EHR clinically valuable, in terms of how it improves patient care?

A clinically valuable EHR does not just hold or transmit information, but it also manipulates that data in ways that make a difference for your patients’ health and safety. For example, it keeps records of a patient’s medication and checks for issues when a new medication is prescribed, alerting you to potential conflicts. An interoperable EHR will also let other providers know about a patient’s condition and medications, so care can be adjusted appropriately.

Most providers do think their EHR is working for them and their patients, enabling them to improve patient care and outcomes, although a significant number still do not see their EHR as being clinically valuable. A recent survey found that :

  • 75% report that their EHR allows them to deliver better patient care.
  • 88% report that their EHR produces clinical benefits for the practice.
  • 94% of providers report that their EHR makes records readily available at the point of care.

A research review found that clinicians are developing their expertise with EHR systems, enabling them to leverage the EHR to provide quality care for their patients. Some of the best practices found in the review included limiting the use of the EHR during the visit while discussing emotional or difficult topics with the patient as well as physical configuration of the clinical space to be able to share the screen with patients, to share pertinent information on their care when it is appropriate to do so.

Elation’s EHR solution for your independent practice is purpose-built technology, focused on helping you deliver excellent care. Our clinical-first user experience supports and enhances the patient relationship.

Generally, satisfaction with the EHR has improved for both providers and their patients, particularly as physician and patient input has led to a system that provides the information and guidance needed to make the EHR clinically valuable.

According to the Johns Hopkins Miller-Coulson Academy of Clinical Excellence, there are seven domains involved in clinical excellence:

  • Communication and interpersonal skills
  • Diagnostic acumen
  • Skillful negotiation of the health care system
  • Scholarly approach to clinical practice
  • Professionalism and humanism
  • Knowledge
  • Passion for clinical medicine.

The ultimate goal of the EHR is to improve patient outcomes. Although it can sometimes be challenging, the right EHR can also help the independent physician succeed in preserving and enhancing these clinical excellence domains, leading to improved patient care.

Communication is a major component of the EHR, giving the patient a portal for secure communication that enhances the flow of information, serving as a way for the patient to ask questions or clarify instructions in between visits. The communication tool can also help build the patient-provider relationship, which is a critical element in improved patient care.

Patients’ access to test results can also enhance the quality and safety of their care. Multiple studies have shown that patients tend to be more involved in their own healthcare when they are able to see their lab results and medical records. This is particularly important for the self-management of chronic disease and health behaviors.For patients with complex healthcare needs, who see multiple providers and require diagnostic tests, screenings, and lab tests, the opportunity for inter-provider communication offers benefits in terms of the transition and coordination of care. A clinically valuable EHR gives each provider a view of the patient’s complete record, eliminating duplication and errors and enhancing the total quality of care provided to that patient.