Five Pain Points
Let me share five pain points commonly experienced in healthcare. Then, I will share five solutions that will resolve these pain points into pure pleasure.
- Pain Point #1: The absence of Interoperability
Use Case: You receive an extensive medical record from a referring provider. It is in an electronic format, it’s even in the official format embraced by the ONC (Office of the National Coordinator). But you know there is no way you can suck that information into your medical software and use it RIGHT NOW. That capability just does not exist for your software. The industry has been discussing this for years, saying “It’s coming”. But it is not here TODAY.
So, you have a staff person enter the medical details manually. This is money out of your pocket. This is an unnecessary delay. You should be able to examine the medical record, select the parts you want to import, archive the rest, and use the results immediately. That’s what healthcare should be in 2018.
- Pain Point #2: Documenting an encounter during a patient visit
Use Case: You are in an exam room with a patient, Mrs. Doe. You have just completed her exam. She is sitting in front of you anxiously waiting for your sage advice concerning her condition. You are formulating her Care Plan in your head. You are trying to remember her exact words describing her Chief Complaint. You turn to your computer to document the visit before you lose your thoughts. You have carefully turned the screen away from her to not reveal the details you are entering. You are silent as you type. Documenting the encounter stands firmly between you and Mrs. Doe. She waits while you hunt and peck filling out a template.
It is during this exact moment that you have lost something incredibly important. You might not even realize it. Yes, you have lost communication with Mrs. Doe. But more importantly, you have lost eye contact with her during a stressful moment. Doctors underestimate the importance of eye contact with the patient. Mrs. Doe is too polite to interrupt you, but she surely feels a pain point.
Ahh … you thought this discussion would only include pain points experienced by you, the provider, didn’t you? Well, you were wrong. The moment you turn away from the patient to type on the computer, is a serious pain point for every patient, especially if the patient is not included in the process.
- Pain Point #3: Poor patient follow-up
Use Case: A new patient visits your office. It’s a routine visit with a scheduled follow-up, nothing major. For some reason the follow-up visit is cancelled by the patient, and you never hear from the patient again. Nobody notices. There was no effort from your staff to track this missed opportunity. Do you just let it go?
At the same time, your office always needs to attract new patients. You wonder why. Wouldn’t it be better to make more effort to retain the patients you currently have? How could your workflow include a method to capture all forms of patient slippage?
- Pain Point #4: The lack of real-time surveillance
Use Case: It is April 2014. You are a pediatrician with a practice in Flint, Michigan. You examine kids all day, every day. You have three close friends who do the same nearby. How soon do you (or your buddies) notice the uptick in the number of kids with higher levels of lead in your community? Is it two weeks, two months, or two years? Do you notice it before the CDC announces it to the world?
What if you and your three cronies formed a small surveillance team. You bring your de-identified patient data, and pool it among just yourselves periodically. You look for problems and trends. You would know what to look for because the problems show up first in your exam rooms.
The thought of waiting for Google AI, the CDC, ONC, HHS or whomever to tell you there’s a health crisis occurring in your neighborhood should be a serious pain point. You should have the tools to be ever vigilant TODAY.
- Pain Point #5: Poor EHR Software Usability
Use Case: “Poor EHR usability augments provider frustrations with clinical documentation and can have a negative effect on clinical efficiency. While EHR systems were intended to boost clinical efficiency and promote better-informed care delivery, 56 percent of surveyed physicians said EHR use has reduced efficiency.”
In short, your EHR is frustrating, and it detracts from your doctor-patient relationship. Your software vendor is unresponsive. This provider pain point is well documented.
How do we resolve this pain? Let me show you …
Five Pain Point Solutions
- Solution #1: Interoperability