The other night I came across an interesting fact while reading. Did you know the Mayo Clinic is responsible for creating the first medical chart in 1907, when they assigned the number one to a patient? I paused. I found it hard to believe, that for the most part, medical record keeping has only changed within the last 20 years or so, with the evolution of digital patient record keeping. During this period, practices have reluctantly and slowly adopted using digital patient records. Why is this?
I can think of only one reason: change. While change is scary, this is a change that benefits not only the practice, but also the patient. Here are several ways:
- Most practices have used paper records for patient intake since they were founded, and the task to making the digital conversion can seem daunting. While the transition may take time, it’s worth it. Having all patient records in a digital format not only streamlines your practice’s daily workflow, but also reduces expenses on office supplies (paper & toner) and storage. Imagine giving a patient an iPad to fill in their forms rather than a piece of paper? Pretty cool if you ask me.
- Since the office has made the conversion and isn’t using paper, how are patients going to pay? Through the patient portal. A patient portal allows patients to make payments for services over a secure connection. As an added bonus, a patient portal can also increase how frequently you communicate with your patients. You can send them reminders for appointments, information that pertains to a condition they have, or a birthday wish.
- Stop the repetitive work. Does it make sense to have a patient fill out the lengthy forms, hand them back to your staff, and then have your staff input the info into the system? No. Instead, get the information provided by the patient sent directly to the system. Makes total sense…..and your patients won’t get writer’s cramps entering their information via an iPad.
- Cut the chains with your office. The AdvancedMD patient relationship management suite, AdvancedPatient, empowers members of your practice to review patient charts from mobile devices such as the iPad and iPhone. The mobile devices can also be used during patient intake to scan their driver’s license and insurance card in order to get all of the necessary information.
- Simplify the patient record exchange with other practices. Having patient records digitized enables your office to easily exchange patient information for referrals from other practices.