So far, most all Electronic Health Records, Healthcare IT and Electronic Medical Record software has been focused in one direction – that of the medical provider (physician, physician practice, hospital, etc.). It is expected that there will be a major shift coming soon; a shift that puts more focus on the patient. Patients want more information and want more transparency and it is coming soon with additions to EMR software, new patient portals, and more ways to access records electronically. A new survey from the National Partnership for Women & Families (NPWF) showed that in the past year more than four in five patients with online access to their health records used their online records at least once and more than half used them three or more times a year.
The wish list from patients grows as more become more familiar with and more trusting of electronic health records. Patients would like the ability to email providers, an interface to schedule appointments online, their records to be shared with all of their physicians, quick access to lab results, and the ability to see doctor notes and treatment plans. While aging Baby Boomers are showing interest in online access, Millennials are also expecting to see their medical information where and when they want it; they want portability and the ability to access records on their smart devices.
As for Boomers, a poll from Xerox’s commercial healthcare division shows that 56% of patients ages 55-64 would be more engaged in their care if they received access to medical information online; currently 70% say they do or would schedule appointments; and currently 64% access/review medical records/test results online.
Along with issues of security, there lies the issue of who actually owns the online patient information. It is expected that these will be hot topics in 2015. Security of medical records will always be an issue, especially considering all the breaches of late. But patients have stated that much of their personal information is already online as they use online banking and other online services. Some also stated that they don’t feel their records are any after sitting in files in doctor offices and hospitals.
According to the NPWF survey, patients with online access to their health information have a much higher level of trust in their doctor and medical staff (77%) than those with EHRs that don’t include online access (67%). If your EMR software does not provide patient access, there is no time like the present to consider a switch. Greenway Medical Patient Portal improves accuracy and provides patients with many requested features such as appointment scheduling and prescription refill requests. Call Microwize Technology today to learn more about this feature rich EMR system.