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4 Useful Electronic Healthcare Tools (and How They Can Improve Your Practice)

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4 Useful Electronic Healthcare Tools (and How They Can Improve Your Practice)

Technology is changing the way patients receive their care in many ways. These advancements can help patients receive better care as well as improve your healthcare practice. Four especially common and useful electronic healthcare tools at the forefront of today’s healthcare IT industry include automated patient engagement software, electronic health records, electronic prescribing software, and online patient portals.

1. Automated Patient Engagement Software

Patient engagement software is an electronic system physicians and staff can use to communicate with their patient base. The best of these systems also include patient-physician relationship management tools. Using an automated patient engagement system can improve the efficiency and flow of your practice.

Features such as automated appointment reminders allow you to cut back on administrative costs. As more processes become automated, practices can operate smoothly with a smaller office staff and allocate more time toward patient care. Appointment reminders also help control revenue and time loss, thereby reducing no-show rates, which otherwise cost the healthcare industry billions of dollars each year.

When patients receive regular notifications about an upcoming appointment, they can either confirm or cancel and reschedule, freeing up space for waitlisted patients. This is just one feature of patient engagement software that can save your practice money and increase productivity.

The DoctorConnect patient engagement software system includes automated appointment reminders, plus a full suite of features that further boost an already powerful tool. Supplemental features include no-show management, recare facilitation, patient scheduling and communication preferences, bulk messaging, patient surveys, and more. You can contact the DoctorConnect team to determine how to best integrate the system to meet your unique clinic needs.

2. Electronic Health Records

Electronic health records (EHR) are software systems that physicians use to track patient care. EHRs have a host of benefits including increased productivity, higher job satisfaction, greater customer satisfaction, and improved quality of care.

One way EHRs increase productivity and improve care is through care coordination. Different members of the patient’s care team can access their information and communicate with one another about treatment options. There can even be communication between care providers located at different clinics with EHR software. With coordination, your practice can avoid duplicate data entry and unnecessary tests or treatments.

Software companies have even made EHR systems available through apps. These apps allow quick access to patient information and may even be capable of transmitting images via mobile device for diagnosing and recordkeeping. App-based databases allow remote viewing of medical records, which is especially beneficial in emergency situations.

3. Electronic Prescribing Software

E-prescribing software allows a physician to write a prescription and send it to the patient’s pharmacy electronically. Currently, 70% of physicians in the United States are using e-prescribing software.

Electronic prescribing increases efficiency and is safer for patients while lowering costs. One study, Perspectives in Health Information Management by the Online Research Journal, found that electronic prescribing limits human error and thus increases patient safety. Errors decreased to 6.6 per 200 prescriptions from 42.5 per 100 prescriptions.

The study also cited projections for the cost-savings of e-prescribing software. The report projects 140-240 billion dollars saved in the next ten years by using electronic prescribing software.

4. Online Patient Portals

Patient portals give patients 24-hour access to important medical information on a secure website. Patients can view immunization records, download forms, request prescription refills, make appointments, view lab results, and more.

This is not only convenient for patients — it also improves medical practices. Patient portals relieve some of the administrative work for employees, thereby cutting costs. It even reduces spending on items such as paper, since staff don’t have to mail test results to patients.

This convenience can also yield higher profits. When patients have portal access, they are 13% more likely to return, bringing more money to your practice.