A Guide To The Future of Electronic Health Records (EHR)

A Guide To The Future of Electronic Health Records (EHR)

Administrative tasks in the healthcare industry are essential, but they can also be labor-intensive, extremely time-consuming, and dangerously prone to human error. 

So, it isn’t surprising that, since their introduction in the 1970s, Electronic Health Records (EHR) have played a pivotal role in transforming the healthcare industry – both in terms of efficiency and quality. 

While these systems are still in their infancy and not entirely faultless, they have the potential to propel the healthcare sector into the future. Discover how below. 

A Guide To The Future of Electronic Health Records (EHR)

Electronic Health Records: An Overview

Electronic Health Records (EHR) refer to the digital counterpart of a patient’s paper chart. Typically used in hospitals, clinics, and other medical facilities, these digital charts offer a collection of systematized information about a patient or the local population. 

Since these records are often stored in internal cloud infrastructures, they can be easily accessed, shared, and recovered by different authorized healthcare providers and facilities.

Just after their invention in the late 1960s, EHRs existed in rudimentary infrastructures, and they were mainly used in academic inpatient and outpatient medical facilities. 

However, thanks to the technological advancements that took place in the 1990s and 2000s, digitized patient data became more popular, and they underwent significant upgrades between 1992 and 2015. By 2011, nearly 60% of clinics were regularly using EHR technology in combination with paper charts. 

How EHRs Affect the Healthcare Industry

Over the past 10 years, the crucial role played by EHRs became evident and, according to estimations by Nature, 96% of hospitals and 86% of physicians’ offices in the US now use digitized medical records. 

There are many reasons for the mass adoption of electronic health records that took place in the past years, and most of them are connected to the benefits this technology offers to most medical facilities. 

Thanks to EHRs, clinics can now reduce the risk of human error, transfer critical patient information to other providers and facilities, and update a patient’s health record in real-time. What’s more, EHRs are user-friendly for both healthcare providers and patients, and they can be integrated with other systems within a certain healthcare setting (including billing and scheduling systems).

In terms of boosting the efficiency of clinical settings, EHR has played an essential role in helping the healthcare system boost automation and deal with the unprecedented demand fuelled by the Covid-19 pandemic and the aging population. 

Adoption of EHRs: Challenges and Benefits

Undeniably, the implementation of electronic health records can boost the quality and efficiency of the healthcare system, reduce paperwork, and even put patients in control of their health. What’s more, EHRs have helped clinics streamline patient management, build relationships of trust, and make better clinical decisions.

However, most clinics using EHRs today do so in combination with traditional paper charts, mostly due to the adoption challenges this technology is facing today. 

Some of the greatest concerns hindering the widespread adoption of EHR include patient data security, physician error, data breaches, and loss or damage due to poor software infrastructures. The cost of use, training needs, and the limited tech abilities of less tech-savvy physicians are additional minor challenges. 

The Future Potential of EHRs

Since their introduction over forty years ago, electronic medical records have evolved drastically. Thanks to EHR optimization and improvement strategies, physicians are now able to seamlessly access and consult real-time patient data, monitor at-home care, and schedule appointments. 

What’s more, as emerging technologies become more affordable and widespread, EHRs gain new, powerful functionalities, including:

  • GPS technology can provide patients with remote assistance and greater security levels.
  • IoT devices can monitor vital signs and deliver personalized reminders (i.e.: medication alerts).
  • Greater levels of interoperability allow for greater ease of use and access
  • Enhanced patient safety when touchless patient identification platforms like RightPatient are used. 
  • Live video streaming platforms support remote communication with patients and telehealth services.
  • Greater levels of integration with billing, appointment scheduling, and patient management software will allow for more streamlined workflows. 
  • More ad hoc EHR solutions that fit the specific needs of a certain clinic, hospital, lab, or facility, also through app extensions and customized functionalities.
  • Customized user experience for patients and healthcare providers
  • Faster EHR adoption and cycle times to deliver consistent and integrated data in real-time across multiple facilities.

While it is impossible to foresee the exact extent to which EHRs will change the healthcare industry, it is already evident that this technology will play a crucial role in helping the global healthcare industry cope with the unprecedented demand for quality, affordable, and accessible care. 

Improving Patient Engagement and Satisfaction With Text Messaging

Improving Patient Engagement and Satisfaction With Text Messaging

“Patient engagement” is no longer a buzzword. It’s now an essential component for healthcare provider success. With effective patient engagement comes substantial improvements in everything from overall patient health to treatment outcomes to an organization’s bottom line. Many hospitals also use touchless patient identification platforms like RightPatient. Such a platform helps improve patient outcomes as well as enhance patient satisfaction as they the proper care without any errors. The good news is that achieving substantial improvements in patient engagement does not require substantial work. All it may take is the ability to send text messages to patients via a text-enabled solution. 

Improving Patient Engagement and Satisfaction With Text Messaging

Below are some of the common ways healthcare organizations nationwide are using text messaging, often via two-way texting, to strengthen patient engagement and satisfaction and reap the clinical, financial, and operational rewards. 

Appointment Reminder

Texting is a proven way to reduce cancellations, no-shows, and no-gos (i.e., treatment unable to proceed due to patient non-compliance). Prior to an appointment, organizations are sending text messages, reminding patients about their scheduled appointment and including key details such as the time of the appointment and facility address. 

Organizations are also using texting to ask patients to confirm their appointment and if patients have any questions or concerns. If patients need to cancel, follow-up texts are helping with rescheduling.

Pre-Screening Questionnaire 

Text messaging is helping providers streamline the completion of pre-screening questionnaires. For short questionnaires, text messages can ask the required question(s). When a questionnaire requires patients to complete a longer form, organizations are sending hyperlinks via text that direct patients to online forms.

Recall Campaigns

Organizations are making text messaging the communication backbone for their recall programs (e.g., annual physicals, Medicare annual wellness visits, colonoscopies, mammograms) and other routine preventive care. Reminder text messages are helping organizations improve recall rates and grow volume while also ensuring patients receive the preventive services that keep them healthier.


For those growing number of organizations with telehealth programs, texting is reminding patients about their appointments, providing pre-appointment instructions about what’s required for the telehealth appointment (e.g., stable Internet connection, installation of a videotelephony program), and including hyperlinks that, when clicked, initiate the virtual consultation. 

Patient Satisfaction Surveys

Texting is proving to be a highly efficient and effective way to conduct patient satisfaction surveys, including Net Promoter Score (NPS) surveys. In fact, one study of how text messaging can be used to improve communication and engagement with patients showed that more than 4 out of every 5 patients are willing to take satisfaction surveys via text. 

When patients respond to a satisfaction survey with a low rating, organizations are sending follow-up texts asking these patients to explain what they found disappointing about their experience and if they would like to speak with a representative about their dissatisfaction. Interest in learning about a patient’s negative experience is helping improve operations while reducing the likelihood that patients will leave poor online reviews.

Online Reputation

Speaking of online reviews, online reputation has taken on significant importance in recent years. A study that included approximately 1,800 patients found that over 95% of the patient population consider online reviews critical for their decision-making process, with 40% of the patients unwilling to go to providers that have bad reviews. Texting is giving organizations a simple, streamlined, non-intrusive means of asking patients to post online reviews. Texts are being sent that provide links to online review platforms and encourage patients to take a moment to share their thoughts.

Caretaker Coordination

Organizations are using texting, including automated messaging, to provide caretakers and loved ones with real-time patient progress updates, which is especially helpful when patients are undergoing surgery or receiving treatment that will take considerable time. Text messaging is also being used to inform caretakers, loved ones, and transportation providers when patients are ready for discharge and provide instructions on where drivers should go to pick up patients after discharge is completed.

Post-Discharge Communications

Organizations are relying more on text messaging for post-discharge communication with patients. Texting is helping identify those patients who require or desire a phone call and better ensure patients answer the phone when a post-appointment call is made. By strengthening post-discharge patient engagement, organizations are reducing readmissions and better avoiding penalties associated with high readmissions.

The Easy, Highly Effective Way to Engage

The examples of how healthcare organizations are using text messaging identified above represent just a few of the ways texting is making a substantial, positive impact on patient engagement and satisfaction. Providers are improving when and why they are engaging with patients, taking better advantage of what is learned through these efforts, and strengthening their bottom line. Adding a text-enabled solution and leveraging text messaging as a communication mechanism is typically easy and fast, requiring a minimal learning curve. Organizations that add text messaging or expand their reliance upon it are often finding it’s the patient engagement tool they’ve been missing.

Incorporating Big Data & Medical Records to Improve Healthcare Safety

Incorporating Big Data & Medical Records to Improve Healthcare Safety

Data isn’t the uncomfortable word it used to be. People are still wary about putting their information out there, but as technology shows the world what I can do, people become less concerned with stopping big brother, and more concerned with taming him. 

Certainly, this is the case with healthcare where properly implemented data can improve outcomes and make things safer. In this article, we take a look at the value of incorporating big data within our healthcare system. 

Incorporating Big Data & Medical Records to Improve Healthcare Safety

A Simple Breakdown

The simple feature of big data implementation in healthcare (simple being a relative word) is that it allows healthcare systems to better understand the needs of their community. For example, some communities may have higher rates of heart disease or respiratory illness that are brought on by environmental factors. 

Without data, any understanding of this concept will be purely anecdotal. With the right tools, however, the healthcare system can get a much more granular understanding of what’s going on and why. Are the instances of respiratory illness concentrated amongst members of a particular age group?

Or maybe there is a geographical correlation. People living near the paper processing plant. Hospitals can take that information and use it to develop community outreach plans most likely to have a high impact. 

Data During the Pandemic

When it comes to public health issues, nothing can top the pandemic. Not only did hospitals have an impossibly high influx of patients but they were also working at a reduced capacity. They didn’t have the equipment they needed to treat everyone. Not enough PPE. Not enough respirators. Not even enough beds. 

Not only that but they were also short-staffed — first by viral surges. Nurses and doctors working in close proximity to Covid patients inevitably contracted the infection themselves. This put them out for up to two weeks. 

Then there was the job migration — people leaving en masse, possibly in response to the crazy conditions they were being forced to work in. Hospitals still had to achieve a high standard of patient outcomes, but now they were doing it with shockingly limited resources. 

During all this craziness, data was there to lend a hand.

Data could be used to predict viral surges. Spikes in one part of the country often led to spikes in another. Through good data implementation practices, hospitals could see these surges coming and button down the hatches accordingly. 

The worst of the pandemic is most likely behind us, but the efficacy of this technology remains. Data allows hospitals to create bespoke strategies at the turn of a dime to address whatever situation they might be facing. 

Improving Patient Outcomes

Data implementation can be used to improve patient outcomes in many different ways. On the macro level, it just provides much larger swaths of information from which to derive patterns and form insights. General advice suddenly becomes significantly more specific. 

For example, a wellness checkup may previously have yielded the recommendations of more exercise and less fatty food. Using more granular data points, the physician can recommend specific foods to patients who meet the right criteria. 

Then there is data implementation at the personal level. Everyone generates data constantly. That’s to say that they behave in patterns too large and obscure to be gleaned by the naked eye. With analytic technology, that’s all changed. 

Data points like heart rate, blood pressure, and even glucose levels can be monitored around the clock. This can be used to issue very immediate care in certain situations. For example, a patient wearing a heart monitor will often benefit from technology that sends their readings directly to their physicians, and possibly even the company that made the device. 

This means that if the device logs an irregularity, that report is immediately sent out to at least two places, immediately increasing the odds that they will receive help. In certain situations, this alone can be lifesaving. 

Even in non-emergency situations, it’s very useful. That same heart monitor or blood pressure cuff that saves lives can also be used to track them with more depth and detail than any take-home wearables previously known to the world of western medicine. 

These data points allow doctors to take an in-depth look at their patient’s health records, compare them to those of other people within their demographic, and use that information to make tailored courses of treatment. 

Even Fitbits can play their part, serving as an affordable way for patients to monitor their vitals and make and maintain fitness goals. 

The Dangers of Data

None of this is to say that there aren’t dangers associated with robust medical data. Healthcare systems are constant targets for cyber terrorists and criminals. Bad actors who hack into systems and extract information either for financial gain or to create fear and civil unrest. 

And not all data breaches are born of malicious intent. Some can happen through things as common and innocuous as human error. An administrator opens a bad link, or logs onto the wrong website. A patient loses a phone with important health-related records. 

A small mistake happens, and big ramifications follow. Hospitals and patients alike can avoid these scenarios by practicing due diligence. Use good password hygiene. Be mindful of the websites they use, and generally keep data security at the forefront of their minds when they are using digital technology. Many hospitals are mitigating medical identity theft cases by using touchless patient identification platforms like RightPatient. The platform uses patient photos to identify and verify patients, thus, stopping bad actors who impersonate patients and preventing medical identity theft cases.  

It’s an ongoing struggle to be sure but the results are well worth it. Reduced risk, more efficient hospitals, and better patient outcomes. 


Remember that data implementation as we now understand it is more or less in its infancy. Even today, only a very small percentage of data is tamed and comprehensible. As the tech improves, this will change. Patterns will become easier to detect, and outcomes will only improve. 

In the meantime, it’s important to get the data right. Invest in the technology, practice security, and continue using the data to improve hospital management and safety.

5 Strategies to Improve Patient Identity, Satisfaction & Care

5 Strategies to Improve Patient Identity, Satisfaction & Care

In recent decades, the healthcare industry has evolved and improved in a number of striking and impactful ways. While the advancements in the field have been beneficial, there is still room for progress to be made in the healthcare space, especially as it pertains to the patient experience. 

Having some guidance on how to improve the patient experience can be helpful for healthcare professionals and providers looking to innovate processes and create better forms of healthcare. Here are five strategies to improve patient identity, satisfaction, and care. 

5 Strategies to Improve Patient Identity, Satisfaction & Care

Transcultural Nursing

When it comes to receiving care, different individuals may require different things from their healthcare providers. When healthcare providers don’t take a patient’s background into account, it can easily result in a negative experience for the patient. A way to combat this problem and improve patient experiences is through the widescale adoption of the practice of transcultural nursing. 

Transcultural nursing can be described as a nursing concept that posits that nurses should be mindful of and sensitive to the cultural backgrounds of patients in order to give them the best possible care. This is because those from various cultural backgrounds may interpret their illnesses differently, thereby altering their experiences. 

By being aware of these cultural differences in perception and experience, nurses are better able to provide better care to their patients. In particular, transcultural nursing in remote areas has been shown to be extremely effective and beneficial in a number of ways. 

Though some healthcare organizations have made attempts to incorporate the concept of transcultural nursing into their processes, this form of nursing has yet to be adopted on a wide scale. Healthcare organizations intent on improving the care that patients receive and improving their levels of satisfaction have the opportunity to do so through the utilization of this powerful, effective, and empathetic nursing practice. 


In today’s rapidly evolving world, healthcare has become to take advantage of technology in new ways to improve patients’ experiences of receiving care. One of these areas which have been extremely effective in streamlining processes and improving patient access to healthcare is the practice and implementation of telehealth. 

Put simply, telehealth is the practice of utilizing electronic technology to make healthcare services available to patients. For example, whereas patients traditionally have always had to go into a doctor’s office in person to be treated, telehealth is the practice of making it possible for patients to communicate with their doctors over a video call. As one can imagine, this has made receiving healthcare services far more convenient for patients. 

Other examples of telehealth include viewing lab results on an online portal and having therapy sessions over the phone. The broad and effective applications of telehealth make it a ripe practice for healthcare organizations looking to make receiving care easier and more streamlined for patients. This being the case, a deeper investment of resources towards developing and crafting new ways for patients to engage with their healthcare providers electronically can help organizations become more patient-friendly. 

Hospitals can use touchless biometric patient identification platforms like RightPatient to prevent medical identity theft even during telehealth visits. RightPatient uses patients’ photos to accurately identify their medical records, both inside and outside hospitals. When using telehealth services, patients can simply take a selfie and a photo of their driver’s license to provide photos – RightPatient automatically compares the photos to verify the patient’s identity – it’s that easy! 

Increased Communication

One of the biggest factors that affects patients’ experiences of treatment and healthcare services is the level of communication they have with their healthcare providers. When patients feel like the doctors and nurses that they interact with aren’t communicating clearly with them, it can leave them feeling unsatisfied. In addition, patients are less likely to follow the advice of doctors when doctors communicate poorly, showing that the ways that medical professionals communicate can have a substantial impact on health outcomes. 

Along with being able to affect health outcomes, the way that health workers communicate with patients can also affect a patient’s willingness to return to a particular medical provider. Bearing this in mind, health organizations intent on prioritizing the needs of patients must ensure that their staff is communicating clearly and effectively on a consistent basis. 

Health organizations can improve the communication of their healthcare workers in a number of ways. These tactics can include anything from in-depth training sessions with communication specialists to surveying patients after every interaction with a healthcare worker to determine which communication practices are ineffective. 

However one chooses to go about it, it’s clear that good communication is one of the most significant factors that healthcare organizations need to prioritize in order to improve a patient’s experience of healthcare visits and treatments. 

Ambulatory Surgery Centers

For many people who don’t live close to a medical facility, receiving care can be a difficult process. While doctors may be able to provide some care through digital means, there are occasions when doctors will have to see patients in person. A great way to make receiving care and surgeries more convenient and enjoyable for patients is through the utilization of ambulatory surgery centers. 

Ambulatory surgery centers are facilities housed in ambulances that function in the same capacity as an operating room within a hospital or medical facility. In ambulatory surgery centers, surgeons are able to perform diagnostics and surgeries on patients in a timely manner without patients having to travel to a specific location. Given the increased convenience and streamlined nature of this form of care, many are beginning to view ambulatory surgery centers as the future of ambulatory care

While there have been some cases in which ambulatory care has been utilized by some organizations, it has yet to take off as a common practice among most healthcare organizations. The normalization of ambulatory surgery centers has the power to greatly increase patient satisfaction by providing care more efficiently and conveniently. 

In particular, the practice of utilizing ambulatory surgery centers can help healthcare organizations provide better care and health outcomes to those they treat in rural areas that live a considerable distance from the closest hospital. 

Providing Care Beyond Facilities

While making a patient’s experience within facilities enjoyable is a crucial aspect of providing patients with satisfying care, health organizations intent on providing truly amazing care will also focus on looking beyond their facilities. By following up with patients consistently and looking at treatments as continuous processes, healthcare providers can help their patients have better experiences and health outcomes. 

Within healthcare, a culture has developed in which there is a distinct barrier between healthcare providers and patients outside of facilities. As we delve deeper into the future, more and more healthcare organizations are beginning to see the value of maintaining a meaningful connection with patients outside of facilities. Making it easier for healthcare professionals to follow up with patients and create an open dialogue can drastically improve patient satisfaction. 

Thankfully, providing care beyond facilities has begun to be adopted by more healthcare facilities, professionals, and organizations and is becoming a normalized practice in the healthcare space. It’s more than likely that the practice of consistently following up with patients will soon be synonymous with healthcare in all of its varied forms. 

Putting Patients First

While the healthcare industry has helped many people over the years, healthcare providers and facilities have not always strived to put patients’ needs first. In recent years, this has begun to change and more healthcare organizations are prioritizing patients’ needs and are pouring more resources into improving how they provide treatments. 

Soon, it’s more than likely that more healthcare organizations will take advantage of new technologies and practices to further improve their ability to serve and treat patients, crafting a more enjoyable patient experience and more effective forms of care. 

5 Often-Overlooked Ways to Improve Patient Safety in Hospitals and Medical Centers

5 Often-Overlooked Ways to Improve Patient Safety in Hospitals and Medical Centers

If patients aren’t safe, then the purpose of a healthcare facility is rendered redundant. As such, taking safety seriously on-site has to be a priority.

Here is a glut of great ways to go about this, covering examples that tend to fall between the cracks during planning.

5 Often-Overlooked Ways to Improve Patient Safety in Hospitals and Medical Centers

Make sure air quality is as good as possible – e.g. consider using an industrial filter during building work

In a post-pandemic world, awareness of the importance of air quality in public spaces has increased significantly. Even so, it’s necessary to think carefully about how this is handled not only when a hospital or medical center is up and running, but also when construction is taking place.

Clearly, you need to filter the air to protect patients from infectious diseases and other airborne pathogens, but there’s also the prospect of lingering dust and debris left from building work to take onboard.

That’s where using an industrial filter like these comes into play. Processing large volumes of air in a given space to remove unwanted nastiness will set your facility up to serve patients more safely from day one.

Provide patients with the right information

They say that knowledge is power, but in a healthcare context, it’s also key to ensuring patient safety. Keeping patients in the loop about the nature of their condition and also the types of treatments that they’re undergoing will avoid serious errors being made.

Healthcare professionals need to be trained in conscientious care, with effective communication at the core of this.

It’s about being clear and honest, as well as ensuring that patients actually understand what they’ve been told, not that they’re merely nodding along without taking anything onboard.

Managing language barriers is also part and parcel of this, ensuring you can guide them to the right services and treatments.

Wash and sanitize hands following guidelines

Healthcare workers and patients alike need to adhere to the right procedures for washing hands, so that the transmission of infections across the site is minimized.

Even with a reduction in touch points through things like touchless biometric patient identification platforms, poor hygiene is still a huge threat in hospitals and medical centers.

The widespread use of hand sanitizing stations, as well as conspicuous signage throughout, can help. Employee training is also needed to reinforce the tenets of good hand hygiene.

Embrace digital transformation to eliminate physical paperwork

Migrating from traditional paper documents to a digital equivalent is useful in lots of sectors, and stands to offer the biggest benefits in healthcare. This comes down to the simple fact that if paperwork is incorrectly filled out or goes missing, it can jeopardize the health of patients.

Conversely, by adopting digital solutions instead, patient data can be stored, transferred, and accessed seamlessly. Updates can be applied in real-time, and handovers between practitioners can take place without the margin for error that would previously have left lives in peril.

Another aspect of the digital transformation of hospitals and medical centers we need to touch on is the role of project management software in this context. Being able to assign tasks to team members, track progress and provide updates digitally prevents administrative mistakes from having ramifications in the way treatment is provided to patients.

Thus it’s about cutting ties with the old ways of doing things and turning to the benefits of new technology, not just because it’s more convenient, but because it can deliver better outcomes for more patients.

Hospitals are also digitizing patient identification – with RightPatient, patient identification is done using patients’ faces and photos. Patients are enrolled using their photos – the touchless patient identification platform attaches this photo to the EHR. During subsequent visits, patients just need to look at the camera – RightPatient compares the live photo with the ones in the EHR system, and upon a successful match, the appropriate EHR is provided. 

Monitor as much as possible

Technology has extended its tendrils into other aspects of operating healthcare facilities and being able to monitor premises and the people within it puts decision-makers and employees in greater control of the environment.

Biometrically monitoring a patient’s current status is one thing, but being able to empower care gives with tech to double-check that the right medication is being given to the right person goes a step further.

There’s also the straightforward significance of on-site security, as achieved and maintained through monitoring points of entry, managing access to certain areas, and tracking visitors as well as employees and patients. The latest security solutions allow for much of this to be automated, meaning that you don’t need a huge team dedicated just to this aspect of running a facility.

The bottom line

You will encounter your own safety issues beyond those mentioned here, so, being adaptable as an organization is just as important as knowing what common concerns need to be on your radar.

A good way of looking for imperfections that are impacting the patient experience is to ask them. Feedback from those you serve will point you towards flaws that would otherwise have gone unnoticed, especially in a busy healthcare organization where resources may already be stretched to breaking point.

How to Protect Patients from Identity Theft

How to Protect Patients from Identity Theft

In today’s evolving world, many processes in healthcare have transferred from analog to digital. While this has increased the level of convenience that many healthcare workers, including physicians, nurses, and receptionists, experience, it has also brought with it a number of new challenges. One of the main problems that have come as a result of the digitalized healthcare system is the threat of cybercrime and, in particular, patient identity theft. 

How to Protect Patients from Identity Theft

While many healthcare institutions have some basic forms of cybersecurity measures, this isn’t always enough to safeguard patients from hackers with malevolent intentions. Having an understanding of some of the best ways to keep patient information private can make for a more enjoyable and trustworthy patient experience of the healthcare system. Here is how to protect patients from identity theft. 

Safeguarding Healthcare Institutions from Outside Theft

Today, there are a number of healthcare cybersecurity challenges that organizations are having to battle. One of the most worrisome of these cybersecurity challenges is that of hackers from outside of organizations hacking into their networks. In order to ensure that patient information is staying private, it’s essential that healthcare organizations set up a number of cybersecurity measures that are meant to protect one’s network from being vulnerable to blackhat hackers and other cybercriminals. 

Typically, hackers who attack healthcare institutions are doing so in the hopes of finding financial gain in the process. This can be in the form of a ransom being paid by an organization for the return of information or by utilizing patients’ private information to steal their identities. The first and most important line of defense for a medical institution is its IT and cybersecurity professionals. 

By having a staff of professionals with specialized cybersecurity knowledge, healthcare organizations will be able to respond to threats in real-time. This means that patient information has a better chance of being kept private when healthcare organizations have a skilled team of professionals actively working to protect the cybersecurity measures of an organization. 

Safeguarding Healthcare Institutions from Inside Theft

While many may have an image of nefarious hackers in different locations when they think of healthcare cyber threats, employees within healthcare organizations can pose just as serious of a threat to patient privacy. This is because employees of healthcare institutions have easy access to the private information of patients, making it an easy procedure for them to steal the identities of patients. 

Being that employees have an unprecedented amount of access to the private information of patients; healthcare organizations must be able to detect when patient information is accessed by employees. This way, organizations, and their IT and cybersecurity teams will be able to catch employees who are taking advantage of their access to patient information for nefarious purposes. 

Managing Human Error

Unfortunately, though healthcare workers typically do a great job and fulfilling their duties, human error can sometimes put patient privacy at risk. This happens when employees are frivolous and accidentally act unsafely on an organization’s network — potentially leaving a door open for hackers to exploit. 

Oftentimes, mistakes such as these come as a result of medical professionals being overworked, stressed, and burnt out. As such, it can be incredibly helpful and useful for healthcare organizations to implement strategies for managing nurse stress and physician stress in the workplace. This will mean that there’s less of a chance that human error will make patient information vulnerable. 

As such, ensuring that workers are well rested and not burnt out can be an effective way that healthcare organizations can help to ensure the safety and privacy of patient information. 

Updating Devices and Networks

Since the healthcare system used to be run on analog technology, the switch to digital processes is one that can be time-consuming and expensive. This being the case, many healthcare organizations sometimes opt to implement digital processes in the most cost-effective ways. Unfortunately, these cost-effective techniques can sometimes make their organizations and patient information more vulnerable to cyber criminals. 

By updating systems, devices, and networks, healthcare organizations have the opportunity to make private patient information more secure. Though it can cost more money, in the long run, healthcare organizations can save themselves an enormous amount of time and energy by updating systems to make them safer and more robust. 

Making Employees Aware of Common Forms of Cyberattacks

While higher-ups in healthcare organizations may be extremely familiar with the threat of cyberattacks, many employees within healthcare organizations may not be. This being the case, these employees could unintentionally do things that allow hackers the opportunity to gain access to an organization’s network. As such, organizations can benefit from ensuring that each and every employee is familiar with common forms of cyberattacks so as not to accidentally become susceptible to hackers with nefarious intentions. 

This can be achieved by having in-depth cybersecurity training sessions led by cybersecurity experts. Having cybersecurity professionals available can ensure that employees will be able to ask questions that they may have and gain a deeper understanding of good cybersecurity habits. This can allow healthcare organizations to ensure that employees aren’t compromising cybersecurity measures and are upkeeping the privacy of patient information. 

Keeping Patients Safe from Identity Theft

While cybercriminals have become savvier in recent decades and are becoming more of a threat to healthcare institutions, organizations can help improve the safety of private patient information by taking a few key steps. 

By putting in the time and effort, healthcare organizations can ensure that their networks are secure and they’re not making themselves vulnerable to hackers with the nefarious intention of stealing patient identities. Many healthcare providers also prevent medical identity theft by using biometric patient identification platforms like RightPatient. RightPatient uses patient photos to identify EHRs accurately. Patients only need to look at the camera to verify their identities – this is where fraudsters are red-flagged, preventing medical identity theft in real time.

How to Improve Patient Safety in Substance Use Disorders

How to Improve Patient Safety in Substance Use Disorders

Every patient should receive the same standard of care, regardless of background or socioeconomic standing. Sometimes that means adjusting processes and protocols to ensure patients with specialized cases or disorders are kept safe and secure.

There’s still a lot of stigma around treating patients with substance use disorders and what that process looks like. Here are some actionable ways to improve patient safety when treating someone facing addiction.

How to Improve Patient Safety in Substance Use Disorders

Create a Referral Network

Building a strong referral network to consult with experts and refer out is a must when working with patients facing addiction. This effort should be standard practice in areas with high rates of substance abuse disorders. 

In New Jersey, for example, there were 98,628 substance abuse treatment admissions in 2019. This information was submitted by providers of Alcohol and Drug Rehab in NJ to the New Jersey Substance Abuse Monitoring System (NJSAMS), indicating that many more individuals didn’t receive the treatment they needed. 

Medical professionals from all practices should make connections to work with treatment centers and help redirect patients they suspect are struggling with substance abuse.

Educate About Medical Identity Theft

Substance abuse disorders and medical identity theft go hand-in-hand. In some instances, people facing addiction will use another person’s identity and insurance to secure access to substances in an emergency room setting. In others, stolen information will be sold to help support the addiction. 

The first step in preventing medical identity theft is building awareness so all staff members know about the issue, the risks involved, and the red flags to watch for. Then, implementing software and protocols to mitigate the risk of medical identity theft is integral. This means working with registration staff to collect personal identification and verify the information and implement IT solutions for support, such as touchless biometric patient identification platforms like RightPatient that have a track record of preventing medical identity theft in real-time.

Work to Reduce the Stigma

Many people with substance use disorders or suspected of having an addiction are treated poorly by practitioners. While being aware and cautious about drug-seeking behaviors is critical for security and safety, it’s also important not to be jaded or callous. Dehumanizing patients creates more barriers to seeking treatment, which could be life or death.

Research shows that substance abuse disorder training in a healthcare setting can help adjust beliefs and behaviors surrounding patient treatment. Teaching staff to use patient-centric and recovery-centric language can help further reduce bias and stigma when treating patients.

There’s also a lot of controversy in the medical field about medically assisted treatment (MAT) for people with opioid addictions. This issue persists despite the favorable peer-reviewed research that shows a diminished risk of relapse and overdose death when MAT is used. 

Consider making a Reducing Stigma Education Tools (ReSET) training program a part of the onboarding process when hiring new staff. These training programs are designed for healthcare professionals and use examples of real humans facing substance abuse disorders to discuss what they’ve faced and how healthcare providers can improve their safety and quality of care.

Put Security Measures in Place

 Putting physical security measures in place is also important for protecting patients with substance abuse disorders. Ensuring medicines are locked with controlled access, individualized passwords, and security professionals monitoring secured areas is a must. 

Documentation is another essential part of patient safety and security in preventing drug diversion. There should be clear documentation and procedures surrounding diagnostics and treatment delivery, as well as rigorous standards for recordkeeping. Limited access to controlled substances is essential. Those with clearance should be responsible for inventory updates and cross-referencing patient records to identify if there are any issues.

There should also be clear protocols in prescribing controlled substances with limited access to ordering software. 

Engage in Trauma-informed Care Practices

Many substance users turned to drugs or alcohol as a coping mechanism for something in their lives. There’s a strong correlation between substance abuse and trauma. Children who have experienced abuse or exposure to traumatic events are more likely to develop a substance use disorder. Similarly, people are more likely to experience trauma while actively using. This occurrence is prevalent among women with substance use disorders, who are more likely to experience sexual violence.

Protecting patient safety means avoiding re-traumatization during care. This practice can look different for each patient. Ensuring you have support options available for those who need it during treatment is essential. For example, a domestic violence victim may feel more comfortable with a female doctor. Additionally, some patients may need detailed explanations of what procedures you’re considering and why so they can give (or deny) informed consent.

Training in trauma-informed care and empowering patients helps minimize the risk of triggering events that could lead to further substance abuse. A trip to a healthcare professional should never do more harm than good.

Perform Internal Audits

The best way to evaluate whether a system is working or not is to try and break it. Performing internal audits and tests is an effective way to identify gaps and make adjustments to improve patient safety before someone is harmed. 

Organizing and conducting an internal audit is complex and time-consuming. It starts with having clear goals and metrics to evaluate, then outlining review protocols for capturing data. It’s also important to clarify patient population demographics and the sample size you’ll be reviewing. 

One audit is never enough; reauditing is how you create measurable data. Use this data to reshape your protocols, access controls, and training priorities to ensure a better quality of care. 

Patients with substance use disorders are humans with medical problems. Ensure your treatment of a physical ailment or illness doesn’t exacerbate or trigger their mental health or addiction.

5 Ways to Improve the Patient Experience

5 Ways to Improve the Patient Experience

Very few Americans report being pleased with the healthcare system. Granted, this isn’t the same thing as saying that they are being given poor care. The United States may not top the charts with healthcare outcomes but it does consistently enjoy high-quality technology and medicine, such as touchless patient identification platforms like RightPatient. 

Nevertheless, there is always room for improvement and small adjustments can make a big difference, both in terms of patient outcomes, and general satisfaction. In this article, we take a look at five relatively simple ways you can improve the patient experience. 

5 Ways to Improve the Patient Experience

Be Attentive

Most lay people would be astounded by how much traffic even a typical doctor’s office gets each day. Dozens of patients filter in and are often afforded mere minutes with their care providers. The sheer number of people coming through creates an obvious need for speed. 

While it is important to keep things moving along, don’t allow the need for efficiency to come at the cost of the patient experience and engagement. Be attentive, and handle questions with patience. 

Trendy electronic health services like apps and other remote communication technologies are serving to alleviate some of the pressure on the healthcare system. With some patients electing to handle their questions remotely, it becomes easier to give people physically in the office a little more time and attention. 

Keep Things Realistic

No matter the situation, it’s important to give patients a very clear understanding of where they are at with their health. Sometimes this will mean being blunt. If a patient is overweight, they should leave the office understanding how this puts their overall health and well-being at risk. 

Often, this means having unpleasant, or uncomfortable conversations with patients. That’s ok. The healthcare system does not exist to make people feel good about themselves. It’s there to help patients achieve the best health possible. That can’t happen unless they have a clear, unfiltered understanding of where they are at, and what needs to improve. 

Explain in Detail

It’s also important to keep in mind that patients may know little to nothing, even about things that seem standard to you as a healthcare provider. A recent study revealed that almost 80% of adults with high blood pressure aren’t monitoring the condition regularly, with many not even knowing how. 

For a significant portion of the population, annual doctor visits may be the only time they examine their health in detail. The more information you can give them, the better off they will be.

Keep in mind that just because a patient hasn’t asked a question, that doesn’t necessarily mean they understand what you are saying. The patient may not even know that they should ask a question. Anytime you learn something important about a patient’s health, make sure they leave the office with a very clear understanding of what it means, and how they should be handling it. While you can’t control how they handle their health outside of the office, you can give them all the tools they need to make the right choices. 

Take and Implement Feedback

The healthcare industry isn’t exactly known for its customer service. This makes sense to an extent. Health is an important, serious consideration. Niceties seem unnecessary, even obstructive. 

While you don’t have to treat the hospital system like Amazon customer service, you should consider, and in certain cases, implement patient feedback. This doesn’t mean bending over backward to accommodate patient requests.

Many common complaints — long wait times perhaps topping the chart — are born primarily out of a lack of understanding by the patient. 

Still, you can learn important things about the patient experience by listening to what they say with an open mind. 

Provide Multiple Customer Service Channels

It’s no secret that interacting with the healthcare system can be a difficult and unproductive process. Hospitals aren’t fully to blame. They are short-staffed, and often overwhelmed by the number of people requiring their service. Sometimes, this doesn’t leave very much time to answer the phones. 

Implementing multiple channels of patient communication alleviates the stress on the system and makes it easier for patients and hospital staff alike to go over the information. 

Digital forms of communication, such as healthcare applications, make it easy for patients to ask questions that aren’t particularly urgent. Am I allowed to eat before this appointment? Is it ok if I bring my children with me to the waiting room? Etc.

When hospital staff doesn’t have to constantly field relatively minor concerns, it gives the phone operators more time to deal with serious questions. 

Naturally, not everyone will want to use apps for their healthcare communication. However, by making it an option, you improve the overall experience for everyone and make it easier to communicate quickly with patients. 

How To Improve Patient Experience When Faced with Overflow

How To Improve Patient Experience When Faced with Overflow

We all need to keep our patients happy, and it is paramount that you and your staff do everything possible to facilitate this. On a busy day when time is in short supply and your team is rushed off its feet, you may feel like all you are doing is making apologies. But, as long wait times have a negative effect on patient satisfaction, it’s crucial to eliminate the apologies and provide your patients with a good experience. After all, this may well determine how many repeat or referral patients you get in the future, which is fundamental if you want to grow your practice.

How To Improve Patient Experience When Faced with Overflow

1:  Communication is Key

Brushing up on how you communicate with your patients can improve their experience immensely. You should seek to understand how you can improve the experience of waiting and invest in developing patient-centered information and communication.

As a service-based business, you should be setting clear expectations for your patients. If you are having a particularly busy period and appointment times are stretched, make sure your team is aware that they will need to manage wait times. Be honest and up-front with patients if their appointment is delayed and provide them with accurate information about how long the wait may be. Patients can then decide if they want to wait, or they may prefer to rebook. It’s not a perfect solution, but it gives patients the choice.

Today’s technology is making it possible for patients and healthcare providers to communicate in ways we never dreamed of 20 years ago. Voice mail, faxes, and mail are giving way to instant messaging and telehealth video consults. Not only does this enable you to contact patients immediately if you foresee a problem that may result in their appointment being delayed, but it also reduces the time spent in the waiting room. In a pandemic, reducing potential exposure to the virus is beneficial not just for patients but for your team, too.

With all the means of communication we have at our disposal these days, there really is no excuse for not getting in touch with your patients. Unfortunately, technology does not teach individuals how to communicate with patients. Staff training in this area should be a priority as even the most technologically advanced communicator should ensure their face-to-face communication skills are equally as good.

2:  Revamp Your Waiting Room

The waiting room is a crucial part of a patient’s overall experience, and it should be welcoming, aesthetically pleasing, comfortable, and clean. A waiting room with tasteful décor, filled with color and natural light can influence patients positively on a physical and psychological level. It has been found that plants in the waiting room favorably impact patients and staff – even if they are artificial. Let your patients know you care about their experience by creating a modern waiting room aesthetic where your patients feel comfortable and able to relax.

Creating a Relaxing Space

De-clutter your waiting area by removing old magazines and keeping stacks tidy with baskets or magazine racks. Update your seating, choosing fabrics that are functional, comfortable, and match your brand aesthetic. Have a variety of ambient light sources in the room that contributes to a tranquil atmosphere much more than functional, overhead lighting.

Provide WiFi

Reliable, complimentary WiFi will be a huge benefit to many patients who can entertain themselves using their smartphones or tablets. Parents will find it useful to keep their small children occupied and for anyone needing to keep a check on emails or work, Wi-Fi will provide functional and practical service.

Customize TV Content

Customized TV content can deliver a variety of tailor-made messages to your patients. Far from just showing TV programs, you can create local interest content, such as ads from local businesses, or display information about your practice or dental health issues.

3:  Mitigate Long Wait Times with IT that Suits Your Business

Scheduling Tools

It is a common misconception that if you cannot see patients expediently, then it is because the practice is too busy. From time to time, this may well be the case, but one of the main reasons for limited appointment options could be due to inefficient scheduling. With the right healthcare scheduling software for your clinic, you can improve wait times for your patients and minimize staffing shortages that can contribute to overflowing waiting rooms.

  • For patients, filling in long forms in the waiting room should be a thing of the past. Digital health tools include portals that allow patients to fill in their information securely online before they arrive for their appointment – resulting in less time in the waiting room. What’s more, the information can integrate seamlessly with the dental management software suites you use to streamline other processes, such as administration, appointments, patient records, treatment planning, test results, billing. This saves you and your staff time so they can concentrate on patient care rather than administrative tasks.
  • For even greater improvements, staff shift scheduling can present your whole team with a valuable tool for managing their time. The fact is, you and your team must juggle patient waits, treatments, medications, insurance procedures and administration among other things and things can go awry swiftly if members of your team are absent. Shift scheduling software enables all members of your team to manage their work schedules and as practice manager for you to see at a glance who can step in to cover.


Although telehealth has been around for some time now, the pandemic has brought it truly into the mainstream. It is now an essential tool to aid communication between healthcare practitioners and patients, helping to keep patients and your staff safe and eliminating congested, chaotic waiting rooms. It has been estimated that 20% of emergencies can be seen using teledentistry, which itself can have marked improvement on congested waiting areas.

Artificial Intelligence (AI)

AI is already saving time for patients and for your staff. Rather than having to phone in and wait in line for your office to answer, a website chatbot can often answer questions frequently posed by patients – even out of hours. Additionally, it saves both your team’s and your patient’s time.

While AI is still in its infancy, machine learning will transform patient care in the future with algorithms that will be paramount in the way we treat patients – from diagnostics to holistic treatment plans. There will be numerous benefits to patients, including spending less time in a waiting room because AI-driven systems will be able to accurately detect their problems and prescribe a course of treatment.

The Bottom Line

In the world we live in today, patients have high expectations. They want to be seen with little wait times; they want their treatment options explained simply, and they want their dentist to be attentive and caring. Moreover, healthcare providers need to ensure that they are providing the appropriate treatment to the right patient. A touchless patient identification platform like RightPatient can help with that, preventing patient mix-ups, duplicates, and overlays in the process. 

Making improvements for your patients is just as likely to be beneficial to you and your team, too. The pandemic was not good for dental health and has already changed workflows dramatically with the increased use of technology solutions. But, moving forward it’s important to know your business and invest in the most appropriate technology and training that meets your practice’s needs, rather than the latest “cutting-edge tech” that may not fit in with your workflow.

Easier Ways to Guide Patients to Healthcare Services

Easier Ways to Guide Patients to Healthcare Services

In the healthcare industry, it is extremely crucial that patients can easily find the right information at the right time to ensure the highest quality of Healthcare Services. Here are some tips to make crucial information easier available online.

Healthcare communications are becoming a crucial part of making sure the patient will get the right treatment. Quick access to the right information can be crucial for starting the right treatment, even before the patient will encounter the healthcare system. Therefore, providers in the healthcare industry can take a service check on their online services to make sure that the most important information is easily available to patients.

Easier Ways to Guide Patients to Healthcare Services

Avoid Specialized Language

A primary task in healthcare information is to convert medical terms into simpler terms that can be understood by laymen. Few of the patients have the right education to understand the doctors’ language and will probably not obtain it before it becomes crucial information for the patients. The main task here is to simplify without giving wrong information.

Use Easy-to-remember Intuitive Domain Names

When a patient sees a doctor and gets advised to read more information on a webpage, it’s important that this webpage is easily accessible. Some companies tend to have special shortenings of names that are difficult to either spell or remember for the patients. Therefore, it can be useful for health care services to use a premium domain name.

A premium domain is living up to the criteria for a user-friendly experience. Such domains might already be occupied or bought by other companies. But at Domainify, you can find some of the best healthcare domain names. These names are all living up to the criteria for a premium domain name, and it even comes with a pre-designed logo. It is even SEO-friendly and all of them are easy to remember and spell for patients.

Make Communication More Visual

Medical terms can be abstract and difficult to understand for patients. Many people don’t know about the body’s mechanisms. They can feel pain and discomfort but might not know exactly how a knee or stomach is functioning. Therefore, doctors and health care personnel have a big task of communicating this information in an easily understandable way.

For a lot of patients, descriptions of the body can be quite abstract in words. Often a feeling in the body is difficult to translate into words. This is leading to a huge potential in visual communication like infographics in health care. Here health care providers can more easily give instructions, communicate about specific body parts or symptoms.

The brain is processing visual communication thousands of times faster than text according to TechSmith. Research also shows that people are more likely to remember communication when it is delivered visually instead of by text. The explanation is not so weird. Visualizations show things like they are. Text is a transformation of events in the world transformed into letters, that are forming words, sentences, and texts. Texts might be easy to write, but visuals are easier to use for learning.