5 Marks of a Patient-Centered EHR

In order to deliver patient-centered care, health care providers need the right tools and support. Providers need an EHR with the functionality necessary to promote improved patient outcomes, enhanced patient experience and increased patient engagement, but the EHR alone isn't enough. Providers also need resources, education and support from their technology partner to help them fully and efficiently leverage health IT to deliver effective patient-centered care.

So how can you tell if an EHR is truly patient centered and a vendor will support you with the resources you need? Below are five marks of a truly patient-centered EHR and EHR partner:

1. Supports patient self-management:

  • Incorporates patient-generated data through questionnaires that evaluate patients' wants, needs and preferences and incorporate structured data into the EHR
  • Tracks clinical event delinquencies and alerts both providers and patients
  • Delivers online patient education to support adherence and self-management

2. Provides access to medical information about the patient:

  • Provides online access to patient-level data for patients and their caregivers to view, monitor and/or print
  • Offers two-way flow of medical information in such forms as secured messaging, appointment requests, clinical summaries, lab results, etc.
  • Includes formulary information and 340B management to promote prescription adherence through affordability
  • Imports outside provider prescription history into the EHR
  • Facilitates advanced health information exchange (HIE) for multiple use cases such as primary care provider notification of ED visit, referral management, etc.

3. Enhances patient-clinician communication:

  • Online secured messaging is readily available
  • Supports the medical home model with pre-designed performance improvement reporting, toolkits and "Best Practice" EHR Workflows
  • Offers appointment reminders automation, including text messaging
  • Includes inherent patient portal with downloadable forms as part of core offering
  • Facilitates online data capture of patients' past medical history
  • Offers downloadable patient education in multiple languages
  • Sends alerts based on patient preferences

4. Supports shared decision-making through collaboration:

  • Manages HIPAA disclosure tracking in EHR
  • Indicates presence of advanced directives
  • Offers security levels of EHR data confidentiality for enterprise-wide privacy
  • Records and tracks patient preferences
  • Includes customizable forms and patient-specific education to facilitate collaboration
  • Supports pre-designed evidence-based guidelines to assist with tracking adherence
  • Documents clinical advice, including phone notes
  • Offers comprehensive health assessment and associated risk tracking

5. Delivers ongoing provider education and product support services:

  • Goes beyond providing first-call support by offering toolkits for DIY efforts and affordable consulting services for federal and state initiatives
  • Monitors and participates in federal policymaking
  • Maintains advanced certifications such as those for ONC Meaningful Use Editions and PQRS EHR Direct
  • Offers Meaningful Use, PQRS and other dashboards to help users gauge progress and adjust as needed on an ongoing basis
  • Conducts ongoing webinars and offers strategic white papers at no additional cost
  • Facilitates accredited continuing education for medical professional customers

Interested in learning more about patient-centered care? Find out what constitutes patient-centered care and how providers can overcome barriers to providing this type of care. You can also access a free recorded webinar, "The Patient-Centered EHR: Focusing on Quality Improvement."