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Physician Dissatisfaction with EHRs

EHRs: Why are physicians and patients dissatisfied with them?

Electronic health records (EHRs) are supposed to make things easier for doctors, improve health outcomes for patients, and create a better experience for everyone. However, most research indicates the opposite. There is a high level of EHR dissatisfaction among practitioners and the impact on patient experience has been underwhelming. So, what has gone wrong?

When EHR system use became mandated, clinicians were expected to experience initial growing pains as they were forced to learn new skills. However, as comfort levels grew, their perceptions were expected to change over time, resulting in better communication and care. Unfortunately, doctors are still complaining about EHRs even after several years of widespread implementation and use. In fact, research shows that EHRs have become a major contributing factor to physician burnout.

Physician Dissatisfaction with EHRs

Too much manual data entry causes physician dissatisfaction with EHRs.

The aforementioned Mayo Clinic Proceedings study also found that as many as 84.5% of physicians are using EHRs and the majority of them are not satisfied. Most physicians feel that EHRs are inefficent and require too much manual data entry where time is spent on clerical tasks rather than patient interactions.

Likewise, patients are also not satisfied with EHRs as they notice doctors spending more time looking at the computer screen during their visits. Research shows that gaze time (amount of time the doctor looks at the patient) is directly related to patient satisfaction.

Apart from data entry issues, a RAND study identified many other reasons for EHR dissatisfaction among physicians. For example, most physicians agreed that EHR interfaces were not intuitive, thus hampering their workflow instead of augmenting it. They also complain that EHRs are not implemented well enough to facilitate the proper exchange of information. Many physicians feel overloaded with irrelevant information.

Doctors also noticed that templates provided with EHR systems degraded the quality of their reports. Even more worrisome is that most physicians found that EHRs are not improving over time. 

Undoubtedly, these studies indicate the need for a system update and technology that frees doctors from having to spend time on routine clerical or data entry tasks. This technology would ideally enable clinicians to focus on their primary responsibility – carefully listening to, observing, and getting to know their patients so they can provide the highest level of care.

This is where RightPatient can help by providing an AI system that automatically identifies patients when they arrive and then engages with them to collect useful information that is pushed into the EHR system. This enables clinicians to understand much more about a patient’s condition while reducing their data entry burden. With RightPatient, doctors receive concise, relevant, and real-time information regarding their patients to save time, increase efficiency, and improve the patient experience.

RightPatient AI optimizes patient wait times.

Making the most of patient wait times

The U.S. healthcare system has long suffered from the problem of excessive patient waiting times. In 2015, 32% of visits to the ED resulted in patient wait times of up to an hour. Obtaining an initial outpatient appointment with a physician can take a month or more. The fact is that waiting times can be unbearably long for patients and doctors are often helpless in solving the issue.

Long waiting times can have a negative impact on a patient’s health by causing delays in consultations. Furthermore, wait times reduce patient satisfaction scores with healthcare service providers. Research has shown that patient satisfaction scores were affected across almost every aspect of care delivery when waiting times were long, with patients reporting lower levels of confidence in the care provider. Longer waiting times not only impact overall patient satisfaction, they also negatively affect the way that patients perceive the information, instruction, and care provided by their caregivers and physicians.

Clinics have adopted various methods to improve satisfaction while a patient is waiting for an appointment. These typically involve providing information regarding different disease conditions, tips on practicing a healthy lifestyle, etc.; essentially, they their best to make waiting areas comfortable and informative. Additionally, some clinics use office staff to gather information from the patient. However, in many cases, the information provided by the clinic may not be relevant to the patient. Similarly, gathering information about the patient through staff is an expensive activity with limited benefits.

As we have seen, patient wait times can have a negative impact on both patients and their clinicians. However, what if there was a way to utilize these waiting times more productively? Can patients be engaged in a more meaningful way while they are waiting? This is precisely where RightPatient can help.

RightPatient can help to improve the patient experience and optimize wait times through its autonomous check-in process. When patients arrive for scheduled outpatient visits, RightPatient automatically recognizes them and engages through an AI-driven chat session. This enables patients to learn about their conditions as important clinical information is collected, which is automatically fed into the EHR. The clinical team can review this information prior to the consultation, saving time and increasing efficiency by eliminating the need for manual data entry into the EHR system. Physicians can then spend this time interacting directly with the patient to bolster satisfaction and clinical outcomes.

RightPatient enables doctors to spend more time focused on what they want to be doing – listening to patients, addressing their emotional and physical well-being, and spending less time worrying about data entry into health records. Satisfied and engaged patients also respond more favorably to more personal interactions with their caregivers, creating a win-win environment.

gaining patient trust is a simple process

6 Things Medical Institutions Can Do To Gain Patient Trust

gaining patient trust is a simple process

What are some simple, yet effective things medical institutions can do to gain patient trust?

The following guest post on building patient trust was submitted by Andrea Bell.

Health institutions play an essential role in people’s lives today. With increasing health consciousness, the demand for health institutions including hospitals and private clinics has reached a whole new level.

This increase in demand has naturally resulted in the development of a large number of healthcare institutes – all of them founded with an aim to take over the market. This is why it has become challenging for businesses operating in the health sector to gain patient’s s loyalty in the long run.

Research shows that the number of hospital jobs increased by 306% in 2015 with 172,200 payroll additions compared to the 42,400 jobs created in the same industry in 2014, as stated by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

If you are concerned about holding on to your healthcare customer base at a time when newer facilities are emerging all around you, worry no more. Remember, when patients choose a specific healthcare provider, they consider a number of financial, emotional and personal factors.

We decided to write this article to help you build long-term relationships with your patients in a way that they would never prefer any other facility over yours. Here are the 6 things you can do to gain patients’ trust.

1. Build close relationships with patients

When it comes to choosing doctors and hospitals, patients usually make choices out of emotional and personal values and feelings. Of course, you can trumpet your customer ratings and your hospital rankings as much as you want on your Facebook page, but patients will always make the final decision with their hearts.

To build strong and solid relationships with patients, you need to create a culture where the hospital staff develops close bonds with patients as part of their professional duties.

This includes gestures like conversing with patients when they have long stays at the hospital, relieving them in a friendly manner, and literally treating them like you would a family member who is sick. Most patients are vulnerable and in utmost need of love, care and compassion as they fight with health-related challenges. Like any other industry, word-of-mouth can make or break your business, and is a more effective marketing tool than any other if you want to gain customer loyalty in the long run.

The reputation of a business and its brand image improves gradually through personal recommendations of those who have experienced the service. 74% consumers say word-of-mouth is a key influencer in their purchasing decisions.

2. Create a seamless experience for patients

The last thing a patient is interested in is understanding how your facility’s processes work. They are looking for care, and expecting the hospital staff to take care of the rest for them.

The staff must take some steps to elevate confusion, and direct patients personally instead of letting them take multiple rounds of the sprawling building in an unhealthy physical state.
The hospital staff should be trained to be super proactive and help patients move through the processes as quickly as possible. They should also be very informative and use different methods to assure patients that everything is under control and that they should just sit back and relax. This will help patients feel confident that they are in the right place and in the right hands.

3. Ensure that safe and certified hospital staff and equipment are used

Going to the hospital can be a very daunting and uncomfortable experience for many. This is mainly because most patients are afraid to receive bad news, wrong treatment or any other similar possibility.

As a medical professional dealing with a plethora of patients on a daily basis, these concerns may not seem like much to you, but these can weigh very heavy on the hearts and minds of the patients.

This is why it is so important that these concerns are addressed even before the treatment is started.

Such anxiety issues could be resolved by employing a number of strategies. You could put up certificates in places where the patient can easily see them such as hospital walls, websites etc.

In other words, as a health facility, do not underestimate the fear that patients feel as they enter your premises for the first time, and also understand your role in helping alleviate that fear. This, in the long run, makes a lot of business sense too.

4. Deliver information in its most simplified form

Patients are most likely to trust doctors on information related to symptoms, treatment, medications and costs. Very few of them will dig up stories related to their health on the internet.

The key to developing patient trust is giving information as simply as possible. Using complicated medical jargon may give the impression that the doctor is highly qualified, but one thing is for sure, it will definitely confuse the patient and cause more anxiety about what’s going to happen to them next.

So it is crucial to provide information to patients in a way that they can easily understand. The hospital’s web presence could also be used to deliver that information so that the patient does not feel the need to consult other online sources which may give the wrong information regarding their diagnosis.

This is one way to ensure that patients keep coming back to you for all of their health-related problems because they have developed a sense of trust for the hospital staff and their services.

5. Be transparent

Because of the huge number of patients that doctors have to see every single day, it can sometimes become challenging to give each one a personal touch.

At the end of the day however, it is essential. I No matter how busy the schedule, it is important to realize that these patients are average people dealing with a lot of fear and anxiety about their diagnosis; they need to know that they are understood and respected.

Small gestures like a smile, eye contact and special attention can go a long way to show the patient that the doctor cares about how she feels and what she is going through.

6. Speak with one brand voice

A strong brand image can although play a great role in instilling trust within the patient, however, it could be further enhanced by doctors by building a strong personal relationship with the patient which is somewhat consistent with the brand as well.

This brand might not show on official brochures or websites, but it can become a part of how the hospital staff interacts with patients on a daily basis.
In other words, the hospital staff should be trained in such a way that they promote the hospital’s brand by showing compassion, going the extra mile for each patients and treating them as guests, and not a liability.

Gaining patient’s trust is an element which is important to the overall success of the business. Patients having trust in any health institution is a form of partnership with them and can ensure consumer loyalty in the long run along with other benefits and hence, should always be encouraged by hospitals.

gaining patient trustAndrea Bell is a Freelance writer and a content contributor at www.computermateinc.com, which provides Medisoft V21 software. She writes mostly on technology related stuff. Live simply, give generously and a sports lover. Find her on twitter @IM_AndreaBell

RightPatient protects patient privacy and patient safety

Takeaways from the 2015 NE NAHAM Regional Conference – “Improving the Patient Experience”

RightPatient protects patient privacy and patient safety

David Cuberos, Enterprise Sales consultant with RightPatient®, poses with Bryan Marcotte from Baystate Health, winner of the gift card door prize at the 2015 NE NAHAM regional conference.

The following guest post was written by David Cuberos, Enterprise Sales Consultant with RightPatient®

The time that we spend meeting with patient access professionals in the field is important to us. It’s an opportunity for our team to better understand core patient access functions/workflow and how these critical front line staffers help mold the patient experience as a first point of contact in what can often be a long, complex journey through the healthcare system. Our strong support for the National Association of Healthcare Access Management (NAHAM) and their regional chapters is a key relationship — instrumental to our product and service design and the ability for us as healthcare software vendors to deliver a solution that meets the dynamic needs of these healthcare professionals and moves the patient safety needle in a positive direction.

Last week, we had the opportunity to meet with patient access professionals from the northeast region of the U.S. to discuss the patient access professionals’ impact on the patient experience. We learned a lot about challenges faced by patient access staff, how it impacts workflow, and what new technology solutions are available to help meet the shifting and often complex demands of this position. 

We also had the opportunity to discuss the ongoing conundrum of achieving accurate patient identification with show attendees and display our biometric patient identification solution that helps to increase patient safety and eliminate duplicate medical records/overlays and prevent medical identity theft and healthcare fraud. This was an ideal environment for us to not only help educate attendees on the value of implementing a patient identification solution, but it also provided us the opportunity to clear up misunderstandings about how this technology operates in a healthcare setting. As we do at all events, we learned a great deal about what types of questions healthcare professionals have about this technology and walked away with some key takeaways:

1. Retinal scanning and iris recognition are two different biometric technologies: This is a recurring misunderstanding we consistently see wherever we go. Due to the fact that both retinal scanning and iris recognition use the human eye for identification, most people believe that the technology is the same. In fact, the two are very different – explained in this blog post we wrote that breaks down the differences between iris recognition and retinal scanning.

2. Patient acceptance of iris recognition is extremely high: Some believe that using the iris as a unique identification credential can invoke patient trepidation to register their biometrics as a way to protect their identity and ensure accurate treatment throughout the care continuum. However, when healthcare staff observes the iris camera in person, they realize that it is perhaps the least invasive biometric modality because it simply takes a high-resolution digital photograph of the patient and can identify them in less than three seconds. Our field research supports patient acceptance of iris recognition for identification, with over a 99% acceptance rate.

3. Proper due diligence of biometric patient ID vendors is critical: Did you know that not all biometric matching types support the elimination of duplicate medical records or have the ability to prevent medical identity theft and healthcare fraud in real-time? Are you concerned about implementing a contact dependent biometric modality for patient identification that may jeopardize hospital infection control policies or require additional investments in a cleaning solution or wipes after each use? Does a biometric identification system seamlessly integrate with your electronic health record system to accurately authenticate patients from any touchpoint along the care continuum? Does your biometric patient identification solution have the ability to secure remote access to protected health information (PHI) from patient portals and/or mHealth apps

These are all important to ask when evaluating biometric patient identification vendors but our experience is that many hospitals aren’t asking the right questions. 

4. Hospital resources to resolving duplicate medical records are staggering: We continue to be amazed at the number of hospital staff dedicated to resolving duplicate medical records. In fact we spoke with a few attendees who mentioned that they have “teams of people” dealing with duplicate medical record clean-up. Although we can’t understate enough the importance of maintaining clean data, we have longed believed that implementation of modern patient identification technologies that have the ability to not only clean a master patient index (MPI), but sustain the integrity of the data moving forward. The key to preventing duplicate medical records is implementation of technology that can accurately identify patients no matter where they are along the care continuum.  

5. Patient experience can be boosted through the use of biometric patient identification technology: Patients pay close attention to their experience at a medical facility. Patient knowledge of the negative effects of duplicate medical records and medical identity theft has increased their empowerment to seek services at facilities where their identities are protected. Implementing a biometric patient identification solution to protect patient identities invokes the emotion that medical facilities care about safeguarding patient safety and privacy. 

Understanding how to improve the patient experience in healthcare requires careful examination of processes and workflow that bring convenience and demonstrate a genuine interest in protecting patient identities. We continue in our mission to provide the most comprehensive and holistic patient identification solutions available to help improve the patient experience in healthcare.

A special shout out to Bryan Marcotte from Baystate Health as the winner of the gift card door prize. Congratulations Bryan!

How can we help you to improve the patient experience at your medical facility?

biometric patient identification prevents duplicate medical recordsDavid Cuberos is an Enterprise Sales Consultant with RightPatient® helping hospitals and healthcare organizations realize the benefits of implementing biometrics for patient identification to; increase patient safety, eliminate duplicate medical records and overlays, and prevent medical identity theft and healthcare fraud.