Most healthcare providers today don’t lack technology. The real challenge is realizing the full potential of the EHR, smartphones, tablets, trackers and apps. That means developing stronger communication skills, and making sure all providers and staff are trained to take advantage of available technologies.
“It’s early days to really know what are the impact of some of these efforts, but I think there’s huge promise if we do it the right way.”
– John Lynn
Beyond the EHR, that means having dashboards for data analytics, and staff with the knowledge and insight to put that data to use in order to meet the needs of the practice’s patients, down to the smallest demographic of all — the individual patient. And it means remembering some timeless qualities, including communication, insight, and the human touch.
What steps can providers and practices take?
Look beyond immediate causes. Is a given problem what it appears to be? Is the patient’s sleeplessness caused by underlying depression? Is that depression the result of lost employment, family conflicts, or financial pressures?
Actually communicate with patients. Many practices put engagement tools in place and forget about them. Good medicine requires constant engagement with patients, in person, by phone, email, text, or whatever methods patients prefer.
What really “moves the needle”? Is patient compliance improving because of medical therapies and advice, or simply a patient knew the doctor or nurse would be calling on a regular basis? Can patient health be improved simply by communicating messages, lab results and advice quickly and efficiently?
In an age of unprecedented technology, instant communications, and 24/7 access to records, providers need to remember that healing is science and art. Amazing technologies still need a human touch to achieve the goals we all share.
Listen to John Lynn share insight on patient engagement.