The technology clinicians really need
By Ainsley Platt | January 6, 2023
Clinicians want more flexibility and data in the moment of care
Clinicians are responsible for the health of their patients, yet making sure that each patient gets the care they need isn’t always easy. Too many clinicians still cannot easily access the most basic patient records outside of their own system, like vaccine registries or specialist visits. But these records are essential to seeing the full picture and making informed care decisions. Add clunky EHR workflows and information stored in different places, and it's easy to see why clinicians are burning out.
A burned-out clinician’s productivity could suffer, while their ability to close care gaps could be impacted. In an era that is increasingly defined by employment flexibility and work-life balance, appealing to clinicians with best-of-breed tools can be the difference between chronic burnout and building lasting engagement and clinician satisfaction.
The key to alleviating the massive burden on clinicians while simultaneously allowing for more engaging moments of care lies in information accessibility within the technology they are already using. Physicians will continue to seek out technology that can meet them where they are and deliver relevant information easily, without increasing the number of clicks clinicians make during an encounter.
Technology that goes where you go
Ease-of-access doesn’t only apply to the information clinicians have, but also how they receive it. Mobile capabilities that integrate directly with the EHR enable flexible care, and are just that — mobile, ensuring clinicians can take action on necessary care in an intuitive format wherever they are, giving them flexibility in how the go about their work.
And mobile workflows can feel more tailored and personalized. A mobile voice assistant can queue up charts prior to an encounter or send orders during the moment of care. Clinicians can use an app to do pre-encounter prep from the palm of their hand, giving them more time to engage with patients. And in the moment of care, clinicians can use voice-to-text capabilities to be more engaged with their patient instead of staring at a computer during the visit.
Care doesn’t stop when the patient walks out of the exam room, and clinicians should have the tech capabilities to address urgent care needs when necessary without impacting their work-life balance. Apps can send prescription orders with a tap even outside of the office. Mobile apps give clinicians the flexibility to get work done on their own terms, cutting down on time spent in front of a computer while still allowing them to be there for their patients inside or outside the office.
Easier and more robust visibility into the patient story
59% of physicians are frustrated by the challenges of accessing clinical information about their patients, according to athenahealth’s 2022 Physician Sentiment Survey.
Having patient information at their fingertips during the patient encounter is essential to seeing the full picture and saving time when it comes to care decisions. Even better is having relevant information surface automatically, directly within the workflow, so clinicians don’t need to click through different tabs and screens to find the information they need or the next steps to take. Data aggregated and presented to the physician could come from a host of sources, from labs and imaging centers to payers.
Being able to see the full picture of a patient’s care can be challenging. That’s why connecting payers and clinicians to surface valuable clinical information is key to enhancing the patient experience. Imagine data being brought in from outside systems to surface relevant care or diagnosis gaps — information that previously could only be inferred. For example, let’s say your patient “Jake” comes in for his annual appointment. Jake has diabetes. The data from his health insurance company shows he also has been treated elsewhere for complications like foot ulcers or vision changes. The diagnosis gap is surfaced within Jake’s chart before and during the encounter. This information can be denied or accepted and added to the assessment plan. In addition, the action is sent back to the payer. This helps close the loop and create a less manual process.
Intuitive interoperability ties it all together
All of the insights clinicians need to improve the moment of care require the open exchange of data throughout the healthcare ecosystem. Everything from lab results to payer data can and should contribute to the care of a patient, but in order for that to be possible, clinicians need clinical workflows that surface data in a format that is not only streamlined, but intuitive and actionable, so they can take advantage of the data without valuable time clicking through pages or trying to manually find information.