Meaningful Use and Patients: More Connected Than You Think

Posted by: Alok Prasad

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Meaningful UseRelationship Between Meaningful Use and Patients

As a physician, achieving meaningful use for your EMR system is essential to its success within your practice. However, meaningful use involves more than just making sure you're using all of the components of your electronic medical records. A more broad definition of "meaningful use" is coming to the surface, which includes being able to provide patients with the types of services they're requesting. In short, patients want to be engaged, and regulations are changing in such a way to allow that to happen.

The Automation of Healthcare

Automation is happening in almost every industry. While it might have started in areas such as banking through the use of ATM machines, it's grown to include things like purchasing airline tickets online and self-serve checkout lanes at the grocery store. Mobile devices allow most transactions to be completed anywhere you are, as long as the website you're visiting has a mobile site. Patients are becoming more engaged in every area of their lives, and healthcare is no exception. By adding features to your practice that encourage patient engagement, you'll find that your patients are not only more involved in their care, but that they have a better healthcare experience overall. A patient scheduling option, and being able to pre-register for appointments offer the kind of conveniences your patients appreciate. In addition, offering your patients a portal to access their medical records is essential to not only enhancing the patient experience, but also to meet the guidelines for stage two meaningful use.

The Benefits of Healthcare Automation

You'll find that there are many benefits to healthcare automation. First of all, you'll see a decrease in your practice's administrative costs when you automate some of the functions of your practice that are currently being handled by your staff. A great deal of the work your receptionist does each day can be automated, which will free him or her up to do other things within your practice, if needed. You might even be able to eliminate that position all together. 

Another benefit of increasing patient engagement is the fact that it will help to overcome the significant amount of skepticism of EMR that many patients as well as healthcare professionals have expressed. Patients who have access to their medical records and other healthcare information will be more informed about their care in general, allowing for a better understanding of EMR and increased satisfaction with their healthcare experience.

The Challenges of Healthcare Automation

There will of course, be challenges in reaching the second stage of meaningful use. Not only will physicians have to continue working on effectively implementing EMR within their practices in a way that enhances the level of care they offer to their patients, but they also will need to educate their patients about what EMR features are available to them.

In order to meet the requirements for stage two meaningful use, it's necessary for you to provide your patients with access to their health information electronically, as well as to provide them with a way to participate more actively in their own care and treatment.

If you are currently using an EMR system, is it prepared to meet the stage two requirements? If you have doubts about whether or not it will be ready, or if you have not been satisfied with the system you've been using, we'd like to talk to you. Our EMR is poised to comply with all meaningful use guidelines, resulting in an excellent ROI for your practice, and patients who are satisfied with the changes. For more information on our EMR, contact us today. 

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Topics: Patient Engagement, Patient Portal, EHR Implementation, Meaningful use

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