In June 2014, the Medical Group Management Association released the results of a questionnaire that ranked members' most pressing practice management challenges. In this edition of “Practice Makes Perfect,” we'll tackle No. 13 on that list: Leveraging new technologies to enhance patient communication.
It's no secret that technology is changing how medical practices work. Electronic health records have already altered workflows, from the waiting room through discharge. But technology is also changing how patients interact with the practice, even influencing patients' decisions on which providers to use. Patients of all ages are looking at functionality that improves the way in which they can interact with their healthcare providers through a practice's online presence. According to some studies, patients' interest in online services is greatly outpacing the ability of practices to offer them.
It won't stop there. Patients are already taking this further by contributing information directly to their charts through portal forms and interfaces with devices they wear. Medical practices should evaluate and embrace technologies that allow for enhanced communication with their patients. Some of these technologies are becoming commonplace and even expected by patients.