Improving Your Small Practice: The Anatomy of the Ideal Patient Experience
Patients only have so much patience for complex doctor visits these days. Billing, scheduling and communication with their doctors should be simple and intuitive. They expect seamless mobile interactions, integrated web resources and personalized user experiences because they have it in every other aspect of their lives. Physician practices should be no different.
There were many reasons why the United States government mandated the HITECH Act of 2009 requiring all physician practices to adopt EHR systems, these being just a few of them:
- Digital logging
- Accurate time stamping
- Detailed note taking
- Automatic scheduling
- Cloud-based billing
Not only was it time for doctor’s offices to begin leveraging the Internet and advancements in cloud computing, but it was time to make it easier for patients to enjoy those advancements as well.
With a fully functioning EHR system in place, let’s imagine the ideal patient experience:
1. Appointment Reminder
There they are, our patient, watching Saturday morning TV, without a care in the world. Their phone vibrates so they check their messages and find a text from their Doctor:
Just wanted to remind you that this Wednesday morning at 9:00AM you are scheduled for your appointment with Dr. Washington. We’re looking forward to seeing you! Call (XXX)XXX-XXXX if you need to reschedule, or to cancel your appointment simply reply with #CXL
Dr. John Washington
Charles Street Wellness Center
2. Secure Messaging
The next day, our patient thinks up a question they’d like to ask Dr. Washington. For fear of forgetting it, Lucy pulls out her phone, quickly logs onto the Patient Portal and types her question along with a few notes.
3. Access to Personal Healthcare Records
Our patient arrives early to her appointment and decides to look over her personal medical records from her last visit while she’s in the waiting room. She’s curious to see what medications she’s been prescribed in the past and what her immediate notes were after her last visit.
As Lucy finishes up her appointment, she enters back into the waiting room to find a long line of patients waiting to speak to the Office Administrator. No worries, she thinks. She decides to skip the wait, knowing she can easily pay the bill sitting in her car or from the comfort of her own home. Payments can be made online from anywhere, anytime, saving patients much needed time.
During her visit, Lucy’s doctor prescribed her a new medication. She heads to the pharmacy, where her doctor has already electronically sent the prescription — no need to worry about losing the prescription slip along the way! And because it’s done electronically, the prescription has already been filled by the time Lucy arrives. No more waiting for prescriptions to be filled at the pharmacy, she simply picks it up and is back on her way!
6. Research and Education
After getting her prescription, Lucy decides to read up on her new medication and the effects it may have. She again logs onto the Patient Portal and finds educational material regarding her specific ailment as well as Dr. Washington’s recent notes.
7. Creating an Appointment
Lucy decides to go back in to see her doctor the following week. From the Patient Portal, she can see when Dr. Washington has an open slot and conveniently schedules another appointment.
This is an example of a positive patient/doctor experience using Practice EHR, the powerful, yet affordably priced EHR platform designed specifically for small practices. It’s clear that the right EHR system can enhance the patient experience and can empower patients to be in control, more informed, and more prepared for their doctor visits. But not every EHR system is created equal.
Practice EHR is unique in that it offers a full experience for patients to enjoy all of the benefits of an EHR solution while remaining perfectly priced for small practices. With Practice EHR, doctors can enjoy all of the features of an expensive EHR without the price tag!