Improving the patient experience is a two-way street

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Improving the patient experience is a two-way street

Improvements can upset the apple cart for clinicians. An expert at EHR maker athenahealth offers advice on how to make sure the patient and clinician experiences both are top-notch.

Technology plays a crucial role in improving the patient experience in healthcare. Patients now expect convenient and consumer-centric healthcare experiences, similar to what they experience in retail and financial services. Technology can bring more convenience, ease, and immediacy to the patient experience. However, it is important that the technology also lessens the administrative burden for clinicians, as they often feel overwhelmed by administrative tasks and frustrated by the lack of access to patient information. By integrating patient self-service automation into technology platforms, clinicians can have more time and resources to provide individualized care.

Efforts to enhance the patient experience can hamper the clinician experience if the information provided to each audience is imbalanced. For example, if patients input all their pre-appointment information into a mobile program, they expect that information to be efficiently surfaced to the clinician. If the information is not transparent to the clinician, both the patient and clinician may become frustrated, leading to a negative patient experience.

Health IT vendors must ensure that patient experience technology effectively integrates the information gathered into the clinician workflow. This eliminates miscommunication and empowers clinicians to have a more complete understanding of their patients. Furthermore, technology should present the most relevant information to the provider at the right moment in time to optimize the clinician and patient needs.

athenahealth, as a health IT vendor, prioritizes patient feedback in their product research. They have a dedicated patient research practice that seeks out patients from different backgrounds to understand their unique needs. They also run user concept tests and collect feedback directly from users during the development process. athenahealth aims to be an ally to both patients and providers by easing communication between them and deploying technology that is easy to use and impactful. By enabling the free flow of information, relevant and timely information can improve how patients and providers navigate the healthcare system and deliver the best care possible.