The Health IT Duo – Patient Portal and Cloud EHR

While we were not finished thanking internet to abridge the communication gaps, the introduction of social media further elongated the process. From layman to healthcare professionals, almost everyone has a social media website account that facilitates one to stay updated and connected with all the latest information. The concept of instantaneous connectivity and reduction of communication barriers in healthcare industry brings me to cloud EHRs and Patient Portals, respectively.

It was never difficult for healthcare providers and healthcare bodies to realize that patient engagement has always been one of the crucial issues when it comes to enhanced patient safety and better care delivery. While the cloud EHRs helped providers achieve precision and swiftness in documenting patient encounter and ultimately enhancing the care quality, the patient portals enabled patients and physicians to stay on the same page – eliminating the communication barriers and ensuring better health management.

“It is simple, both providers and patients are a part of the healthcare circle. Keeping anyone out of the loop could end up challenging the axioms of providing quality healthcare. Where Cloud EHRs are aimed at increasing physicians’ productivity, patient portal is a definitive tool to keep patients connected with their providers”, says a California based Health IT consultant.

The availability of patient portals has not only helped patients remain updated with their health information but also has resulted in low over heads for them, as well as for physicians. Patients can simply login to the portal to access their lab results, request refills, schedule appointments, and generate queries regarding their health reports. Furthermore, since the patients are assigned unique credentials by the provider; there exists no chance of privacy invasion. Patients, who once spent a number of dollars on making telephone calls or paying physical visits to their doctors, now simply use an internet connection to have a virtual conversation with the provider. Today, with the availability of smart phones you do not even require a computer to access the internet.

This brings me to other half of the healthcare circle, the physicians. Healthcare professionals cannot thank cloud EHRs enough for their contribution. They not only serve the purpose of simplifying clinical operations and information but also allow physicians to make use of the information when needed. Gone are the days when physicians had to face the troubles of hosted EHR servers. Cloud EHRs have brought accessibility and affordability in a single package for physicians.

This reminds me of the all-in-one cloud EHR solutions that few of the established EHR vendors offer. Instead of signing up for a separate cloud EHR and patient portal, the all-in-one solutions bring them both in a unified package. This is one of the major reasons why these solutions are persistently gaining popularity.

 

About Frank Quinn

Over the past twenty years, Frank Quinn has contributed significantly on standardizing, interconnecting and institutionalizing care delivery through health IT, helping eliminate barriers to accessibility, quality and adoption. EMR, practice management, eRx, patient portal, medical billing, compliance, privacy and security are his areas of expertise. For more information, please contact Frank at frank.quinn@curemd.com
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One Response to The Health IT Duo – Patient Portal and Cloud EHR

  1. R Troy says:

    I’m a big believer in patient portals, but discovered something interesting. Just because a practice has one, doesn’t mean it cares to use it. Some weeks ago when visiting an internist in a major hospital connected practice, I asked if they had a patient portal. The doctor was shocked, but pointed me to an office manager, who 1. printed out a sheet with access instructions, and 2. told me that only 5 people in 2 years had asked for access. Wow! I can’t wait for MU Stage 2!

    We did check out the portal. Oddly the lab test section had no data despite a number of tests done internally to the practice. Otherwise it worked well, and when we needed to reach the doctor via the portal overnight, the response came early the next morning.

    Hopefully, MU Stage 2 will help get practices to encourage patients to use the portals, but that’s really a long time off!

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