The introduction of technology in health care has the power to improve communication between the healthcare providers and patients. However, many physicians report that entering information into the electronic health record (EHR) in the exam room affects the way they communicate with their patients. While EHRs are important for real time documentation and information sharing, this tool needs to be leveraged to maintain patient interaction. Effective use of EHR is crucial to improve the physician-patient relationship and patient satisfaction. Here are some tools and tips that can help physicians maintain effective communication when performing medical data entry at the consultation:
* Proper Training – Physicians starting out with EHRs get very little training on how to use them during an exam in terms of the doctor-patient relationship. Physicians and their staff need further education to avoid inaccurate documentation risks such as training on note-taking techniques and system short cuts. Communication skills training can also help physicians improve their skills and commitment to the patient interaction while using the computer in the exam room.
* Speech Recognition Technology Voice recognition software helps in hands-free computing, test result management, and diagnostic reporting for clinical documentation. Such improved clinical notes offer complete details of the patients health information. Physicians can learn to use this technology quickly by adjusting their dictating style. This saves documentation time and allows them to review the final document, which would have details of the patient-doctor communication.
* Using Medical Scribes Physicians who do want to work on a computer during the consultation can hire a medical scribe. Data entry during the exam can be intrusive and time consuming for providers. Scribes allow the provider to spend more time with the patient while assuring accurate documentation. They enter the notes, lab results and other data into the system and prepare the patient chart for doctor review, thus minimizing the burden of data gathering and EHR documentation.
* Patient Participation Physicians can review the patients record on the computer before going into the exam room. Share things on the computer screen with the patient. This will convey to the patient that the computer is improving the quality of care. Narrate the care and process while searching and entering data into the EHR. Encourage them to participate in building their charts. Maintain good eye contact during the conversation.
Increased patient satisfaction is the key to a successful medical practice – financially and professionally. By partnering with a medical outsourcing company, the physician can concentrate on providing better healthcare services. Such companies can provide transcription solutions which are an integral piece of the clinical documentation workflow. When used in collaboration with the EHR, medical transcription can be a powerful tool in assuring quality patient care. Allowing these documentation specialists to process medical records helps reduce the documentation burden and allows physicians to spend more time with their patients and to see a greater number of patients every day.