Technology is playing an even greater and more prominent role in hospital/patient relationships. Patient demand for electronic health records (EHRs) is on the rise and predicted to be worth over $35 billion in just a few short years. This demand is prompting many medical groups to develop and adopt new software that gives patients easier access to data while helping to reduce the possibility for error. 2016 has seen the emergence of new EHR trends that medical groups should take note of if they want to drive efficiency within their organization and satisfy patient demand.
#1. Mobile apps
One of the most notable trends in 2016 is the demand for and use of telemedicine technology. In fact, the telemedicine market (which includes two-way video, email, smart phones and other wireless technology) is expected to exceed $30 billion in the next five years. This rise in demand is no doubt linked to the overall prevalence of mobile technology in general, but health providers are finding it incredibly useful when providing care for homebound seniors and patients in rural areas. More tellingly is the ability for health providers to increase overall care and patient satisfaction while using telemedicine technology. It increases communication between clinician and patient, helps manage expectations prior to and post procedure and can reduce patient stays, thereby reducing overall costs without sacrificing on quality of care. For any medical group desiring to improve communication and quality of care while cutting back on costs, telemedicine is the means to accomplish it all.
#3. Patient portals
Patient portals are another growing trend that even the Institute of Medicine has advocated on behalf of increasing the quality of patient care and reducing medical errors. In terms of finances, especially, giving patients the ability to manage self-pay balances via a payment portal offers them another easy-to-access option that can drive deeper engagement, generate revenue for your organization and help resolve patient balances more efficiently. There is still much room for improvement in this area of patient communication: only about a quarter of patients have the option to access a patient portal. 2016 will most likely be the year when an unprecedented amount of medical groups adopt patient portals for the benefit of their patients and their organizations.
These emerging EHR trends are the tools of the future of value-driven healthcare and will no doubt influence your organization. Adopting them to the benefit of your organization where applicable could make a world of difference for increasing the level of care and patient satisfaction within your organization.