Do you think your patients care whether or not your hospital or clinic is about to make the move to an EHR system?
Many doctors and staff members might say “no”. After all, patients are busy. They often come into your office sick, or tired. Why should they be concerned about the technical upgrades your clinic is making?
Well, here’s a surprise: many of your patients might be very interested in your transition to EHR. And, keeping them updated gives you and your staff a wonderful opportunity to connect with them, convey the benefits they can expect to see, and keep them up to date on how the process is going.
One of the reasons why it’s so important to communicate with your patients about your EHR transition is because you want them to get comfortable with this change. The next time they come into your clinic, things will be different. And, since EHR gives patients a more active role in their health care, it’s vital they start learning about how this is going to help their short and long-term care.
What to Tell Patients
When talking about EHR with your patients, there are four main areas you’ll want do discuss:
- What EHR is, and what it does.
- Privacy and security, and how these two issues will affect your patient.
- The benefits your patient will see with the new EHR system.
- The role they can play in their health care with the new system.
How to Communicate Information
So, how are you going to communicate this information to your patients, and make sure you answer their questions? Well, clinics and hospitals are coming up with some great strategies for making sure their patients are kept informed and up to date on the process. Here are a few ideas you could consider for your own clinic.
1. Brochures and Q & A Forms
You could create a brochure, a longer-form Q & A paper to help educate patients on what’s coming. These could be stacked at the front desk for patients to read when they check in, or they could be mailed. You could also create an email to send out to everyone on your mailing list.
What questions should you try to answer for your patients? Here are some common questions they might have:
- Why are you making the move to EHR?
- Who will have access to my health information? How will you make sure my information is not compromised?
- Will an EHR help me save money on medical expenses?
- How will EHR help me?
- Can I access my child or parents’ records through EHR?
- Can I request medication refills online?
- Will the doctors have tablets that allow us to go through my health information together?
2. Website Updates
Your clinic or hospital’s website is a great place to post information on the EHR selection and implementation process. You can also easily write helpful information to inform your patients about the benefits of EHR.
If your clinic sends out a monthly e-newsletter to patients, this is another great avenue to communicate information and provide updates.
3. Facebook and Twitter Updates
Think doctors, clinics and hospitals don’t need social networking? Think again. Your patients are using these sites to communicate with family, friends, and businesses they trust. This means you!
You can use the power of social networking to keep your patients informed about what’s happening at the clinic. If you’re not using these tools yet, then it’s time to start.
You’re providing an essential service to your patients by helping them heal and stay healthy. You might be surprised at how eager they are to be kept up to date on what’s happening with your doctors and staff, especially when a change so closely affects their care. Keeping your patients up to date is a definite must if you want the transition to go smoothly after GoLive.