Technology's Role in the Patient Experience Imperative
"The patient experience more and more frequently begins online, and we know health systems and hospitals understand this because they invest in websites," Peter Kühn, CEO of Birmingham, AL-based MEDSEEK, which sponsored the report, wrote in an analysis. "But patients expect more than just information; they want to manage their care in their own time and on their own terms."
So how else can technology help hospitals engage patients? Other answers (respondents could choose more than one) offer some examples:
- 42% "will provide patients with an online experience that includes information from hospitals, physician practices, and other services"
- 36% "will retain existing patients by offering a patient portal for interactive services such as appointment scheduling and access to medical records"
- 34% "will use social media and networking sites such as Twitter and Facebook"
- 27% "will use mobile technology to facilitate patient care and communication"
We also asked about patient portals that offer advanced features to meet meaningful use objectives, such as providing lab results or discharge instructions. Although 33% said they have them, most (42%) said they don't have a patient portal at all--let alone an advanced one. Another 25% said their portal doesn't have the kind of functions that will help them meet meaningful use requirements.
That's not good news, according to Kühn. "Patients want to see lab results securely online. They want to download discharge instructions and access their health records without needing to schedule an office visit. They want to be able to schedule appointments online and conduct e-visits when an office consultation is unnecessary. And they want to do this without filling in the same forms again and again and showing their health insurance cards every time they walk into a healthcare facility," he writes.
"Providing access to lab results and discharge instructions will attract and activate patients who are increasingly aware of their role as healthcare consumers—consumers who are accustomed to accessing information in the palm of their hand."
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