28 Jun What Are We Doing With EMRs?
To engage the patient throughout the care continuum by providing information management that empowers smart decision making and increases patient-to-provider communication. Or, at least, that is what the goal was.
EMRs (and related practice management software) engages the patient by delivering critical information that assists in case and treatment acceptance, managing appointments, presenting treat
ment options. And providing patients with portals that allow access to related information that is traditionally burdensome to obtain- these systems are indispensable in dental practices today.
The problem? Recent research conducted by Kalorama Information is showing that, even in 2018, this engagement through a portal is more of an ideal than an standard practice. Simply put, your patients haven’t bought in to it yet. The research suggests that more work will need to be done between the software companies and you, the provider, to cater to patient’s needs before they fully accept patient portals and logins.
My observation is that patients will fully adapt EMRs once there is a singular or ternary availability of platforms that make EMRs easy, fun, and convenient. This may likely come from insurance companies which could be problematic for non-participating practices as we could see EMRs used as further rationale to for patients see In-Network providers.
Another note is that EHR/EMR and Practice Management System platforms are recognizing that “side dishes sell the entre.” Practices understand now that managing the patient file has become generic. The real value that practices seek from EHR/EMR/PMS’ are noted from the ease of use of applications and tools that support the records management portion of the software suite (digital radiography, patient communication etc) as opposed to the suite itself.
Then, add to this that Blockchain technology could be catalyst for the next innovation surge in EMRs.
Practices should increase the frequency of patient communication through electronic mediums to further condition patients to accessing healthcare related information online. As they turn more and more to electronic forms of communication- this should affect their adoption rates positively and create a relationship between Doctor and Patient, and not Patient and Insurance. You want the leverage on your side.
Of course, at the practice level this happens by establishing electronic forms of communication early (even as early as 1st appointment confirmation) and using it strategically and consistently.
What does this mean for you?
1- Expect major revamps to Dentrix as companies like Henry Schein (in addition to competing against recent moves by Amazon into it’s space) are forced to compete with platforms that have long understood.
2- Expect practice management and EHR software development companies to start inviting patients to become stronger allies in their online communities (a great read on this is “Platform Revolution,” Parker, Van Alstyne, Choudary)
3- Expect revamps to all platform communication portals. Systems like Dentrix have long had an underutilized integrated communication portal. This might have an overhaul to address changes in consumer behavior over the last 3 years.
4- Expect EHR/EMRs to be reimagined as a whole as early as the next 2 years.
If you have questions or would like more information about dentistry and the future of emrs, drop a line @ firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com