Physician-patient communication is a vital element of the physician-patient relationship. While much of that communication takes place in-person and face-to-face during an appointment, sometimes it's necessary to convey important information from a distance, either in writing or over the phone.
As email and other forms of electronic communication become more popular in both personal and workplace interactions, it's not surprising that they are entering into play in physician-patient communication as well. This week's Clinical Documentation News Roundup includes articles about some of the latest studies on physician-patient communication as well as information on what patients want and how physicians can improve.
- Patients Like Medical Practices' Use of Electronic Communications, but Roadblocks to Widespread Use Remain, Study Finds at MedicalXpress: "Patients like it and so do health organizations, but electronic communications in clinical care will likely not be widely adopted by primary care physicians unless patient workloads are reduced or they are paid for the time they spend phoning and emailing patients, both during and after office hours. Those are some key conclusions of an in-depth examination by investigators at Weill Cornell Medical College of six diverse medical practices that routinely use electronic communication for clinical purposes."
- Docs Who Email Are Still a Rare Breed at Healthcare IT News: "Despite the fact that patients are clamoring for it and health organizations see its benefits, electronic communication from primary care physicians won't become commonplace until doctors' workloads are reduced – or they get paid extra for emails and phone calls....Nonetheless, more physicians may soon find themselves compelled to communicate via patient portals or secure email as patients and practice management demand it."
- Electronic Medical Records Boost Patient Satisfaction, Loyalty, Study Finds at Drug Store News: "Nearly a quarter of Americans are using electronic medical records for checking test results, refilling prescriptions and making appointments, while more than half say they would like to use them, but don't have access, according to a new study....At the same time, nearly half of patients take EMR access into consideration when choosing a healthcare provider."
- Emailing Your Doctor: Would You Choose Convenience Over Privacy? at Gigaom: "More startups and health technology companies are developing and offering secure platforms that enable patients and doctors to communicate electronically. But a crowdfunding campaign on Medstartr is trying to take a low-tech approach to help solve this high-tech problem. Launched by Boston healthcare attorney David Harlow, and backed by Fred Trotter, a well-known data hacktivist in healthcare, and Ian Eslick, a PhD candidate at the MIT Media Lab, the “Hacking HIPAA” campaign wants to create a new legal document, called the Notice of Privacy Practices, that patients would sign when they first arrive a new doctor’s office."
- Doctors' Top Practice Management and Mobility Myths at PhysBizTech: "You’ve heard about patient engagement at your medical association meetings, on the evening news and in the national press. The idea sounds great in theory – exchanging e-mails or electronic messages with patients on the fly, focusing on prevention rather than treatment and developing a deeper bond and a more holistic understanding of your patients. However, what this all sounds like to you is 2,500 more tasks to do, a whopping increase in the amount of unreimbursed time and a world of liability. Let me explain why you’re wrong and how patient e-mails actually save time, generate practice revenue and reduce your back-office workload."
Logan Solutions uses a combination of clinical practice expertise and technological skill to help physician practices throughout the U.S. implement, customize and improve their ERM and Dragon Medical software systems. Contact us to find out how our clinical-practice expertise can help your practice with its clinical documentation software needs.