When a patient schedules an appointment or visits a health care provider, the health record begins. The record allows health care providers to document symptoms, insurance information, duration of the complaint, and other information from the patient. Unfortunately, omitting bits of information in favor of speeding the process can be costly. However, health care providers are striving to avoid this problem through the use of electronic patient forms and the electronic health record (EHR).
Role of Information in Successful Patient Outcomes
In 2009, Dr. David Morris expressed deep concern about the importance of “thoroughly communicating with patients, [and] an unskilled approach can adversely affect outcomes.” reports Allison Gandey of Medscape Medical News, As society has become more ingrained with technology, an unskilled approach may be compared to the pen-and-paper method of tracking patient information, and obtaining EHR information at the time of registration can lead to better outcomes. .
In the publication, Benefits and Drawbacks of Electronic Health Record Systems, researchers found a definitive connection between improved patient outcomes and the use of an EHR. Specifically, the use of an EHR helped to reduce deep vein thromboses for 90 days after being discharged from a hospital. These patients did not require readmission. Since the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services (CMS) will assess outcomes as part of the EHR incentive program , the provider may receive a higher incentive payment for the use of an EHR.
Patients Demand Immediate Answers
Physicians are looking to technology as a way to connect with patients before the patient is actually seen. In fact, consumers and health care providers routinely use health care apps to schedule appointments, research symptoms, or find health care providers, reports Becker’s Health IT & CIO Review. However, some apps, such as those that gather information via electronic patient forms or registration apps, must meet HIPAA-compliant standards for protected health information (PHI).
PHI refers to any information that could be used to identify a patient, elucidates HealthIT.gov. This may include phone numbers, addresses, previous ailments, and symptoms, which is logged into the patient’s EHR. As a result, health care providers have a duty to ensure the safety, security, and accuracy of this information.
Medical professionals agree that delays in treatment contribute to poor clinical outcomes and complications. When seeking non-emergency treatment, the use of an electronic patient form can help your practice start and complete an accurate patient history and list of symptoms. Patients want simplicity, and an accurately completed, an online patient registration form is a necessity in modern medicine.