Communication Paper Katie Maynard HCS 490 February 25, 2013 Carol Sweigert There are a variety of communication methods available to consumers and health care providers. Electronic health records that are interconnected with patient portals are the most beneficial form of communication available to both the consumer and to the health care provider. This system combines electronic health records, electronic mail, and patient portals into one system. Electronic health record patient portals benefit consumers by allowing them easy access to both their health information but also to their medical provider.
Comments can be sent through the system via electronic mail to the provider from the consumer concerning their health and wellbeing, appointments can be scheduled and cancelled, and referrals can be processed quickly (Bau, 2011). The more developed the program the more uses available to the patient and the provider. Medical errors can be reduced by the use of electronic health records and the patient can review any instructions that the provider gave them allowing for better control and involvement with their personal health (Bau, 2011).
It is important for consumers and the medical provider to protect the confidentiality of electronic health records with patient portals connected to them. Unauthorized access to the information contained within the records can result in the patient having their health information broadcasted, insurance information being compromised, and the patient loosing trust in their medical provider. Medical providers can be held accountable for breaches of electronic health records.
The Hi-tech Act allows for providers to be held financially accountable for the safety of the consumers’ medical records and the providers’ ability to work in the health care industry can be put at risk. Ensuring that only authorized individual’s access electronic health records and patient portals connected to these records allows for improved communication, trust, and quality of care. Electronic health record and patient portals connected together are an effective form of communication between the provider and the consumer (DiPietro, 2012).
Consumers are provided with timely electronic access to their provider and the medical information contained within the record (DiPietro, 2012). Providers can answer electronic mail at their convenience and the patient can review the answer in their own time. With the security measures in place to prevent unauthorized individuals from accessing the record the consumer can feel comfortable that the conversation is between them and their medical provider and that unauthorized people will not see it.
Many consumers encounter problems interacting with medical providers as a result of business hours and employment these systems eliminate the problem with communication. Combining electronic health records and patient portals into one system is a relatively new concept. This concept allows for multiple health care providers to interact and monitor the consumers overall health and wellbeing while including the consumer in the process. This system improves the consumers’ health and the providers’ quality and efficiency (Chopra, 2012).
The delay between health providers is eliminated and the patient’s ability to monitor their health progress is increased. Communication between physicians and other health providers is poor, consumers suffer from care that is not uniform and is uninformed as a result of the lack of communication. Electronic health record patient portals allow the consumer to ensure that the providers they see are working together to improve their health and wellbeing. Media and social networking will change communication in health care and is already having a noticeable influence.
A standardized and universal system for medical records can be established by implementing media and social networking into health cares and improve the ability for health information to be exchanged. Media and social networking may shift the responsibility of sharing medical information from the health care provider to the patient. If the consumers take it upon themselves to keep an electronic personal health record they can then use social media to allow access to only providers or other individuals that they want to grant access to (Chopra, 2012).
This eliminates the consumer from relying on a medical provider to relay health information to another source, which can result in delays and miscommunications. This form of communication is used to market health care products and services in a number of ways. It allows providers to gain more consumer recommendations eliminating the need for provider to provider recommendations. This is a direct result of consumers being more interested in their own care.
When a consumer takes an active interest in their overall health they research health care providers, diseases, and other concerns more frequently. Electronic health record patient portals benefit consumers and health care providers resulting in improved quality care. Consumers may one day be responsible for managing their personal medical records but until that time having provider controlled electronic records that allow consumer access improves communications and encourages consumers to take an active interest in their wellbeing.
There are many questions concerning the path that electronic health records and patient portals will take. Medical provider controlled records with patient access provide the consumer with the power to ensure quality and effective care and allow the health providers the information they need to provide the consumer with it. References Bau, I. (2011). Connected for health: The potential of health information and communications technologies to reduce health care disparities. National Civic Review, 100(3), 15-18. doi:10. 1002/ncr. 0064 Chopra, V. , & McMahan Jr. , L. F. (2011, June). HITECH, electronic health records, and Facebook: A health information trifecta. The American Journal of Medicine, 124(6), 477-479. doi:http://dx. doi. org. ezproxy. apollolibrary. com/10. 1016/j. amjmed. 2011. 01. 010 DiPietro, C. , Hemphill, N. , & Daniel, R. M. (2012). Personal health care record saves time, improves doctor-patient communication. Primary Care Optometry News, 17(10), 8-8. Retrieved from http://search. proquest. com/docview/1115388035? accountid=35812