If you’re a small healthcare IT operation, a simple spreadsheet might do the trick. If you’re larger, a not-so-simple spreadsheet might be in order.
Think about the last time you visited the emergency room. Perhaps you’d cut yourself badly and were holding a towel around your hand awaiting stitches. Do you recall why other people seemed to be there? You probably do. Some had an injury requiring immediate attention, like you, and others seemed fine. Maybe they had a fever. Maybe they didn’t know what else to do.
That’s the challenge of emergency care in America—the most expensive care money can buy—and it’s a primary reason for Patient Centered Medical Homes (PCMH).
Getting legislation through Congress—often a monumental battle, as demonstrated by recent efforts to pass the American Health Care Act—is one thing. But implementing new laws may be a greater challenge simply because they require so much sustained energy and attention.
Take mental health parity laws, for example.
The focus of federal efforts to incentivize healthcare IT adoption has primarily been on electronic health records (EHRs), which are oriented around hospitals and physician offices. Moving forward, EHRs will remain the anchor technology as data from other devices and applications flows in and becomes both available and comparable.
Are you old enough to remember the pre-concert security searches for recording devices that were once part of every live music experience? Yes, musicians once had some semblance of control over bootleg audio and video.
But the proliferation of tiny hand-held computers that happen to also make phone calls ended all that. Now, tossing music-lovers who pull out a phone to record would empty entire arenas save a few luddites with flip phones and mullets.
Earlier this year, Monmouth University conducted a survey to determine which issues were most important as the country transitions to a new presidential administration. Among all the potential concerns Americans now face, the issue that rises to the top is healthcare costs.
Let’s face it, there will always be a segment of your patient population that just isn't interested in using a patient portal. But with so much of life now conducted online, the good news is that robust design and usefulness will engage most patients.
Over time, a portal should become the foundation for more extensive electronic communications between patient and provider—a tiny seedling that will hopefully blossom into a collaborative relationship. So, what functionalities should patient portal tools have to succeed?