EHR and Patient Interaction

With Electronic Health Records, it is much easier to involve patients in their care. Patients will have easier access to their history as well as be aware of future preventative care. This requires the provider to advise patients on what electronic services are available to them. In stage 1, patients are offered a clinical summary at the end of each visit. The patient can either decline or take the printed summary with them.

A major concern over the Meaningful Use Stage 2 goals encouraging patient interaction is that many patients will take this access for granted and chose not to take advantage of  new online healthcare resources . In stage 2,  provider groups are encouraged to keep patients involved and engaged in their care at all times. The goal is no longer as simple as allowing patients access, but instead, convincing them to take advantage of it.

Stage 2 objective, is to provide the patient the ability to view, download and transmit their health information within four business days of the information being available to the eligible provider ( and within 36 hours after discharge from the hospital). More details from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

In stage 2 it is also mandatory that patients are able to send secure messages to eligible providers through a patient portal, more than 5% to be exact. More than 5% of patients also need to be accessing their medical records online (exclusions based on broadband availability in the provider’s count).

Meeting these measures will surely pose a challenge for some healthcare provider’s, but at the end of the day will greatly benefit the patient and their well-being. More often than not, patients are not sure what medications they are taking, what procedures they have had done or what they need in the future as far as preventative care. Patients have been in the dark for long enough, they will  now have all of this information at their fingertips.

Additional info on Meaningful Use Stage 2 can be found here.

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