Serving your patients better means you need efficient and friendly practice technology. If your clinic is tech-savvy, your patients will take notice.
Quality practice technology saves your clinic (and your patients) time and money. Taking a moment to consider how your patients experience the technology, you use can help your clinic benefit the most from these important investments.
Give Patients Something Tangible
Not surprisingly, your patients will probably avoid any technologies that are inconvenient or uncomfortable for them. Perhaps a different approach is needed if patients are not using your technology or website.
“I always want patients to leave with something in their hands,” said Dr. Laurie Jahnke, DC of Apex Chiropractic and Wellness Center in Cincinnati, Ohio. Jahnke says that many of her patients do not access their health reports at home, but she provides them with a printed copy of their test results before they leave her office. That way, they see their results and make a physical connection with their health.
“If you off-put too much unto your website…give [them] enough of a summary so that they get something from the conversation and don’t feel like you’re always pushing them,” said Jahnke.
If you must push your patients, you may need to figure out why your technology is not connecting with them yet.
Plan Your Tech around Your Patients
The American Chiropractic Association reports that incentives are available for chiropractic clinics that decide to implement EHR software through 2016, and the Medicare Electronic Health Record Program’s requirements have encouraged clinics to choose software compliant with government regulations.1 Clinics are quickly adding new software and introducing their patients to new systems.
As new clinics choose software and begin using it, an inevitable learning curve emerges for both doctors and staff. Keep in mind, though, that any plan to change technology should be sensitive to patient needs. Maintaining personalized appointments and encouraging patients to seek their doctor’s advice will help ensure they get the best care possible.
“I’ve been trying to be very aware of this to maintain the human experience and the eye contact and not let my eyes get stuck on the screen,” Jahnke said. She actively engages her patients in the process of implementing clinical technology by staying sensitive to their concerns, asking them questions and encouraging them to actively learn about how the technology she uses in the clinic impacts their health.
Guide Your Patients to Better Health
Not every online resource that patients love is beneficial to their health. “All of these things are out there competing for space in their minds, and you have to find a way to differentiate yourself,” Jahnke said. She says that patients have approached her with questions about dubious health claims and products they found online.
Doctors have a responsibility to guide their patients toward technology that benefits them, Jahnke says, and to protect them from technology that makes unreasonable or false health claims.
Revisit Your Tech
Review your technology, websites and digital tools regularly. If your tech plan is not benefiting your clinic or not connecting with your patients, it may be time for an overhaul.
1 American Chiropractic Association. “Electronic Health Records (EHRs).” http://www.acatoday.org/content_css.cfm?CID=3315. Accessed September 2015.