Patient engagement has been shown to have a direct impact on clinical outcomes. Simply put, patient engagement consists of all the ways and means patients are encouraged to participate in their care and wellness. Repeated research and surveys have concurred that providers who offered patient engagement services were able to achieve better overall outcomes for the patients. Unsurprisingly, this has prompted many health tech companies to develop integrated solutions for EMR and patient engagement.
Providers, too, have stressed the necessity of establishing patient engagement programs with a special focus on people suffering from chronic conditions. These patients need a higher degree of care, including medications, consultations, and follow-ups. Given the growing crisis of chronic conditions and the rising care costs, it is not surprising that the market for patient engagement solutions has grown significantly.
How Can EMR or EHR Systems Boost Patient Engagement?
Let’s look at some of the features and functions of EHR and EMR systems that can improve patient engagement –
Scheduling appointments from anywhere with a few clicks significantly lowers the number of missed appointments. Patients not showing up for their appointments ranks among the biggest reasons for worsening health. This is especially true for people suffering from chronic diseases. But if an EHR software solution allows people to book appointments online and reschedule at any time, they are more likely to take their appointments seriously. Moreover, they will also be more enthusiastic about making it to their appointments.
Patient portals within EMR or EHR systems act as excellent patient engagement systems. These enable people to access their medical information securely from any location. Patients can also request prescription refills and schedule appointments or follow-ups. Moreover, they can also use these portals to set reminders for their next consultations.
The ability to view one’s own test results, scans, diagnoses, and medical information encourages people to participate more in their care. Personal health information can promote a healthier lifestyle for people suffering from cardiac problems or those recovering from extensive surgeries.
Patient portals also enable physicians to share educational materials with their patients. These are curated specifically for each patient concerning their conditions. Doctors can address any doubts that patients might have through the portal. These could be anything from medications, dosages, diet, lifestyle, etc. Patient portals boost doctor-patient rapport, which improves patients’ involvement in the long run.
A chatbot is a text-based medium of communication that many EMR systems have or are a part of the patient portals. It allows people to connect with their providers remotely on a one-to-one basis for any queries. It is not uncommon for patients to have doubts about any part of their treatment after they leave the clinic. A chatbot enables them to communicate with their doctors without booking another appointment or going to the clinic in person.
This freedom and convenience push people to be more open with their providers and take their doctor’s recommendations more seriously. This is one of the applications of EMR and patient engagement for patient care.
Patient Engagement Through EMR Integration with Telehealth Platforms
Telehealth solutions enable patients to access medical services remotely using digital and telecommunication technologies. An EHR integration with such solutions is an excellent way for providers or healthcare organizations to offer patient engagement services. Such integrated solutions enable people to connect with their providers virtually for consultations or to receive clarifications.
Integrating EMR or EHR with a telehealth platform allows providers to view patients’ medical charts and guide them accordingly. People can upload the latest results and ask their providers regarding the same. This ability to engage with doctors remotely on a digital interface helps people manage their disease better in the long run.
Telehealth software platforms can pave the way for effective patient engagement solutions for hospitals and clinics. In addition to larger organizations, smaller practices with one or a few doctors can leverage the benefits of EMR and patient engagement. By integrating medical records software with practice management solutions, private clinics’ doctors can better serve their patients.
Patient Engagement Through EMR Integration with RPM Platforms
Remote patient monitoring (RPM) involves observing patients’ health outside conventional clinical settings. This uses wireless glucometers, blood pressure cuffs, heart rate monitors, and IoT-powered medical wearables. The vital signs generated from RPM devices are shared from a software platform with the providers. Integrating this platform with an EMR or EHR solution can help boost patient engagement.
When patients upload their vital signs to the EMR, they can contact their providers for clarification. Regular patient data taken periodically make patients more aware of their condition and pushes them to connect with doctors in case of anomalies. This is especially true for people who need constant observation but not hospitalization.
Integrating EMR with a remote patient monitoring solution enables medical organizations to implement effective patient engagement programs. This applies not only to hospitals but single-physician practices as well.
How Does Patient Engagement Improve Medical Outcomes
The actual process of care begins when patients leave the clinic after a consultation. That is when they get their medications and follow their doctor’s instructions. However, it is common for patients to have queries about their course of treatment or any lifestyle decisions they would need to make.
When patients are more involved in their care, they take every small detail seriously and have all queries clarified. In other words, they would frequently contact their provider for any instructions and take greater precautions as recommended. Patient engagement involves all the ways and means to build such a rapport between doctors and patients.
Patient engagement solutions enable doctors to contact patients regularly and empower them to manage their care better. The relationship between EHR or EMR and patient engagement must be addressed. Doctors can share educational materials, provide diet and lifestyle advice, and even offer counseling to enable patients to lead healthier lives.
Managing one’s care better is extremely helpful for people suffering from chronic diseases. These can include hypertension, diabetes, cancer, heart disease, etc. Such diseases cannot be cured or managed adequately with just one or a few courses of medication. They require constant check-ups, follow-ups, proper nutrition, and a greater degree of caution from patients. Repeated studies and research have demonstrated that good patient engagement goes a long way in ensuring better outcomes for patients.
Since EHRs and EMRs contain all the medical information about patients, integrating them with patient engagement platforms ultimately benefits patients. Doing so will enable providers to quickly access patients’ medical information with a few clicks and offer their insights accordingly. In other words, EMR and patient engagement can play a major role in improving patient clinical outcomes.
EMR and patient engagement are closely related to achieving better medical outcomes. Integrating EMR platforms with other technologies helps physicians serve their patients better. As newer innovations in healthcare technologies emerge, patient-doctor engagement will continue to be impactful on clinical care. In light of this, the role of EMR solutions will only grow.
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Written by Riken Shah linkedin
Riken's work motto is to help healthcare providers use technological advancements to make healthcare easily accessible to all stakeholders, from providers to patients. Under his leadership and guidance, OSP Labs has successfully developed over 600 customized software solutions for 200+ healthcare clients across continents.