As healthcare providers move to meet Meaningful Use Stage 2 requirements, they are looking at ways of providing patients with greater access to their health information.

The main goal of Stage 2 is to use clinical decision support (CDS) and care coordination to improve the overall quality of care by providers. As such, Stage 2 will require providers to do a much more intensive review of patient care and to enable a greater participation by patients in their care.

Because of this, healthcare providers are moving to install online tools known as patient portals that patients can use to look at and download health information.

With patient portal access to their electronic health record (EHR), patients can communicate more quickly and easily with their healthcare providers, make appointments, get prescriptions refilled, and even make payments. They can let their physician know if they are having any problems or other issues with a medication. They can see a physician summary of their recent visit and even look at x-rays and lab test results. The patient can see, for example, how his or her weight, cholesterol and blood pressure changes over time.

Another big advantage for patients with the EHR is its educational function. Patients can get information about their medications and conditions from online data repositories and other Web-based information sources, so they can become more informed and more empowered as a result.

In order to meet the requirements for Meaningful Use of Stage 2, providers are moving as quickly as possible to incorporate these patient portals into their EHR systems. In an effort to do this as smoothly and efficiently as possible, healthcare providers are working with their current EHR vendors to install the patient portals. The ease of installation has become the most important consideration for providers in choosing a patient portal, according to a recent report. Providers want to minimize the number of vendors they have to work with and keep their operating systems as simple as possible.

About half of the providers contacted as part of the report said they have installed a patient portal, which they purchased from a healthcare information vendor. Only those providers who now have different EHR platforms were more likely to favor highly rated patient portals instead of ease of installation, according to the report.

If you’re looking for professionals skilled in patient portal installation, contact the recruiters at Morgan Hunter Healthcare. We can source and place individuals with the expertise you need. We look forward to hearing from you!

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