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Patient Relationships and EHR Systems

May 16

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5/16/2016 3:54 PM  RssIcon

Patient Relationships and EHR systems

Do patients mind EHR?

Doctors often voice concern about their patient’s satisfaction when it comes to adopting EHR software. Their logic makes sense: just look at how the average person feels when a friend stops listening to check a text. EHR is effective, though, and avoiding it often means avoiding efficiency for the sake of a fear that may not be justified.

Fortunately, we can look to prior studies to determine whether or not this is the right decision. According to Profitable Practice, over 60% of people felt that the use of electronics during their exam period was unworthy of concern. Less than 20% said it was “Not very bothersome.” In other words, doctors’ fears are unwarranted. Less than 10% of patients found the use of electronics to be “very bothersome.”

If that alone isn’t convincing enough, a study done by Drs. Aviv Shachak and Shmuel Reis goes a step further. Their research showed that, while there was some complaints regarding doctor communication, in most cases EMR software actually had a positive effect on their patients’ experience. The caveat: the doctor needs to work a bit harder to treat the patient like a human. “The negative impact on communication [caused by HER systems] can be partially overcome by spatial organization of the doctor’s office and by physician computer skills and behavioral style.” In other words, there can be a communication issue that takes place if the doctor does not adjust her or his style of patient interaction.

The software cannot be implemented effortlessly, but if we take a quick look at the summary of an EHR study done at the University of Chicago, we see that the effort is often worth it. It’s a good sign that doctors show concern over EHR software. Their questions show an important placement of priorities. Fortunately, there’s enough research that suggests it’s a worthy investment.  With some additional patient interaction training or consideration, doctors utilizing EHR will be on their way to a more efficient process all-around.

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