The impact EHRs have on patient engagement and satisfaction

Patients want the option of being able to communicate with their independent physicians electronically. In a recent Black Book industry survey, 84 percent of those responding “asserted they are seeking the most technologically advanced and electronically communicative medical organizations available for their healthcare alternatives.” Most of those surveyed who were in the under-40 age group also stated their dissatisfaction with the current level of technology capabilities among their healthcare providers.

Doug Brown, managing partner of Black Book Research, says that “Healthcare consumers more frequently interact through electronic media in 2018, and while they value contact with their providers, they don’t have the patience for lacks in hospital interoperability, incorrect billing and access to scheduling and results.”

Patients under 40 who participated in the survey indicated that they wanted more electronic options for accessing medical records and even for accessing their healthcare options, often preferring technology-based choices such as telehealth. Brown adds “Involvement with healthcare consumers through technologies is proving to be a significant element of patient satisfaction.”

Electronic health records (EHRs) are key to communicating with patients, providing patients with access to their own medical records, and engaging those patients so that they become more participatory in their own healthcare. Face-to-face time is still important and effective for the independent physician, but technology options that enable electronic engagement before and after the visit will prove invaluable in keeping those patients engaged.

Interoperability, the ability for EHR systems to “talk” to each other is also becoming increasingly important for the independent physician. Interoperability provides the physician the ability to electronically share patient information between different EHR systems and healthcare providers, improving the ease with which doctors can provide care to their patients and patients can move in and out of different care facilities.

As technology advances, patient engagement and satisfaction depend more and more on the independent physician’s ability to communicate electronically and to take advantage of the advanced features of a top quality EHR system.