Throughout the 20th and 21st century, the advances in medical technology have gone far beyond what was once considered possible. Thanks to smart phones, we now have access to limitless information at the touch of our fingertips. Social media platforms have also made it possible for us to connect with people across the globe. With these advances have come changes in the way we like to access and view information. Medical providers are increasingly seeing the advantages of switching to Electronic Heath Records (EHRs) as opposed to traditional pen and paper patient records. EHRs help streamline paper records and increase office efficiency, while also giving patients easier access to them.
However, EHR technology still has room for improvement in regards to patient convenience. In today’s culture, patients expect to be able to find information on the go. Whether people are checking their bank account, sending an email or even ordering groceries online, patients want to have quick access to the information they need. Since physicians are typically paid based on the exams and procedures performed during an office visit, they need their software to document complex medical billing codes to ensure they’re properly paid. As a result, EHR features have become focused on billing and coding, as opposed to being more patient centered.
Maybe it’s time to start thinking of the next evolutionary step to becoming patient-centric. How? Perhaps by following the lead of an outside innovator in sharing and viewing information about individuals: Facebook. This might sound like a shocking idea, but remember that Facebook is the fourth most valuable brand in the world, so clearly, there is something about this technology and interface that people appreciate.
In addition to streamlining billing and workflow, an additional goal for EHR software could be to help patients have more ownership of their own health records. If EHR software adopted an interface similar to Facebook, individual users would be able to display information about them that is easily accessible and supervised. Patients could provide a more in-depth “about me” portion on their homepage, which could also include information such as your height, weight, blood type, smoking habits, drinking/drug habits, past medical history, family history, health care provider, and all other information usually asked when first arriving to a doctor. Each individual would have an electronic health record timeline that is easily accessible by medical providers as well as trusted individuals on each profile. Photos could also be attached that display x-rays taken and other medical pictures or diagrams. This will be valuable to not only the patients who will now be able to read full reviews and results, but also other medical providers to see patients’ medical history.
Of course, one would not want all of his or her medical information to be readily available to everyone. Privacy settings would need to be strictly implemented and enforced, allowing only trusted medical professionals access to certain information.
Advances in technology will continue to require changes in the way we handle all information, including medical records. American Medical Software is continually updating our software to adhere to government regulations as well as technological advances. If your office would like additional information on a top medical software from a company that has been in business for over 33 years, please contact American Medical Software today.