As the industry knows, healthcare is becoming increasingly consumer focused. Technology is becoming a bigger part of healthcare, but like any system, it has its drawbacks. EHR systems are being implemented by facilities but not without technology or personnel challenges.

The Problem is Provider Resistance.

While Electronic Healthcare Records software have its share of useful features and benefits, it often requires healthcare providers to enter data into an inflexible system. Patient interaction can be compromised when providers are concentrating on completing fields in a prescribed order rather than engaging with the patient.

Medical professionals may balk at being expected to shoehorn their style of patient interaction into the rigid constraints of EHR Software. EHRs may excel at compiling data but they can fall short when it comes to treating patients as unique individuals.

The Solutions:

1. Training for Success

The first step in implementing any software program is to provide introductory and ongoing training to ensure that providers understand all the bells and whistles your EHR includes. Be sure to follow up thirty, sixty and ninety days after the rollout to gauge user comfort levels and troubleshoot any snags that may arise. Consider outsourcing your training to consultants who specialize in the implementation and education of EHR’s and can identify (and fill) potential training gaps with your staff.

2.  Focus on Patient Engagement

Savvy software providers are coming up with offerings to address issues of patient engagement in hopes of winning over dubious healthcare providers. However, software features do not replace old fashioned patient interaction through face-to-face contact. Communicate this to your staff so they understand the facility’s expectations.

3. Try Mobile Healthcare Solutions

Leading the way in patient-centric software options are mHealth or mobile healthcare solutions. mHealth is a truly hands-on healthcare approach. App-based software is now available that  provides a proactive approach to healthcare.  Patients can monitor their symptoms, access information and manage medical conditions from migraines to kidney disease all from their smartphones. All of which will be accessible to their healthcare providers remotely.

What’s Next?

Secure Patient Portals is one of the next big things in patient care thanks to Meaningful Use Stage Two. Currently in development are systems that would allow patients or doctors to access records remotely through a HIPAA compliant open-source portal.

Patients would have a secure portal through which they could access their medical records. Medical data updates could be entered from wherever they receive care, anywhere in the world, ensuring that they are never subject to redundant testing or receive conflicting care from different providers.

Allowing patients access to their own records, combined with adaptable, easy-to use in-office EHR, allows a level of patient engagement that ensures the best possible care.

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