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Using electronic outcome assessments can help you save time and may help you become more efficient, too.
Data you enter into a patient’s record yourself is just easier to organize if you are using the EHR to enter everything, including any assessments you complete with your patient during an appointment at your clinic. Electronic data you enter after the appointment is also easier to work with and keep organized.
For patient-recorded assessments, many actually prefer filling out electronic forms, making it potentially easier to reach these individuals and convince them to successfully complete the entire questionnaire. Because these assessments are linked directly to each patient’s EHR record, you can easily review it as needed and your patients can have their assessments follow them wherever their records go, as well.
Electronic assessments appear to be more popular among young, well-educated patients, although individuals of every background and demographic may use and prefer electronic forms. Research shows that electronic forms may encourage people to complete every question, also—making it easier for you to receive complete data from your patients.¹
By using a tablet, you can allow your patients to pick up a device and begin inputting data quickly and efficiently. Many people are already familiar enough with tablet computer technology that they can complete electronic assessments without much additional guidance or training. Initially, you may need to provide some modest training for your patients and staff if you are just beginning to use a new system.
Leaving paper behind
While it is true that some people do prefer paper, it creates multiple problems from a clinical standpoint. Other records are largely electronic for clinics using EHR. Paper questionnaires are not always fully completed, either. Some patients choose to leave questions unanswered, making the questionnaire less useful for doctors. Paper has to be stored as a physical record or digitized, which can be time-consuming and costly to do.
If you already have EHR software in your clinic, using electronic questionnaires may just be a matter of learning how to use this feature in your office and beginning to implement it. Any paper forms you currently have you might be able to scan in or manually enter into the system if you need to.
Choosing EHR software
If you are not already using an EHR system, it may be time to revisit the idea of finding software that can help your clinical operations to really flourish. You should prepare a list of features that interest you and consider any questions you may have about how software may help your practice become more organized and efficient. You may be surprised by what practice management software and EHR can help with.
Many doctors find that their productivity increases and they are able to spend more time with patients when they have fewer administrative tasks. Software can help you streamline your operations, eliminate paper records and get more done. Electronic assessments save paper waste, are easier to use with EHR systems and can be used to improve how the business side of your clinic works.
Because many people are now more comfortable using electronic systems, too, you can more effectively collect information and you may improve how well your patients comply with your recommendations.
- Barentsz, M; et al. “Tablet, Web-Based or Paper Questionnaires for Measuring Anxiety in Patients suspected of Breast Cancer: Patients’ Preferences and Quality of Collected Data.” https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4259914/. Published: October 2014. Accessed: September 2017.
- “7 Benefits of Using Online Patient Intake Forms.” https://intakeq.com/benefits-online-patient-intake-forms. Accessed: September 2017.