As technology advances, more and more medical providers are trashing their paper record-keeping systems. Instead, they’re replacing their record systems with EHR (electronic health records) that electronically store information in a digital format.
When Loretta Gallagher single-handedly founded her company Gallagher Associates, she never expected she would be working with EHR. With time and dedication, she realized her passion and began working with medical offices to implement EHR systems that help enrich both the physician and patient experience.
As the benefits of EHR have grown, some providers have begun combining their strengths with the capabilities offered by patient portals. Using online interactive applications, patient portals are systems that give patients direct access to their digital records: something never before possible in the age analog paper charts. Among the many advantages of EHRs implementation in patient portals, the following are a few of the most prominent.
Expedited Medical Visits
There’s a pretty good chance you get asked a lot of the same questions every time you visit a new physician. Most doctors may standardly request for your family’s medical history, what medications you’re currently on, if you have any known allergies, and other demographic factors. While the repetitive answering of these questions probably isn’t truly hurting or stressing patients, it does slow down the progress of the visit and delays the physician from zeroing in on examination and treatment.
When companies like Loretta Gallagher’s help physicians’ offices implement EHR for use with patient portals, she’s giving the doctors and patients the ability to better communicate. With the use of these portals, patients are sometimes able to share and update details which would otherwise need to be covered in the initial stages of an exam, helping to simplify and expedite the visit. That way, physicians are able to spend less time asking inconsequential questions, and more time truly attending to the patient.
Improved Scheduling Practices
In a study conducted by the Veterans Administration Medical Center, it was found that patients who were given the ability to check their own medical records using a patient portal found it easier to remember when it was time to schedule appointments.
Loretta Gallagher points out that this can be especially important for elderly patients who may struggle to remember when to schedule a new appointment are may have difficulty recalling what they’ve been told by a doctor. For a patient with the early stages of cancer or other grave diseases, keeping these routine checkups can mean for early diagnosis and a better chance at survival.
Centralization and Convenience
Loretta Gallagher reports that what most excites her about EHR is the ability to have one medical or health record per patient, which is to say that patients will no longer have partial records scattered at doctors’ offices like pieces of an unfinished puzzle. She reports that EHR (especially when paired with patient portals) is inching toward allowing providers to see “one complete health record regardless of the hospital, location or system being used.”
This means patients who travel frequently or who have visited a circuit of specialists have the ability to move seamlessly from one medical facility to the next and never worry about their physician only having access to a limited portion of their health records. Instead, medical staff would be capable of seeing the full picture, which may often make for a quicker, more accurate diagnosis.
Now more than ever, the medical industry is adapting to meet patient’s needs and creating an experience that caters to them. With the help of EHRs in combination with patient portals, patients are able to access and share their own records in a way never before possible, opening the doors to better medical visits, more efficient care, and even healthier patients.