Ranges of services encompassing the e-health world involve telemedicine, consumer health informatics, ePrescribing, physician order entry, and the all-important electronic health records. E-health has many different players in the industry to help companies take full advantage of the potential with the e-health industry. However, systems from different do not always talk to each other, causing a quality concern when systems do not communicate with each other.
For example, if a patient goes to an emergency room that works within the confines of their group practice with their primary care physician but is transferred to an emergency room that does not work with their primary care physician group, all the tests, and records from that visit will not be transferred automatically to the patient’s doctor. The reason for this is because of laws regulating the sharing of patient information but also because the hospitals are not set up to share electronic health records. This could delay or hinder patient care, causing readmissions to the emergency room that could be avoided.
It is not uncommon in this day and age for smaller provider groups to be bought by larger groups in order to help increase the quality of patient care. Larger healthcare groups provide a greater network of doctors that are able to treat patient conditions. When provider groups merge, it can temporarily cause an e-health nightmare as the records are also merged. However, these relationships help increase e-health capabilities as these groups all operate on the same systems.
E-health is not only trending in quality of care between providers and patients sharing information, but they are also used to help identify many different patient concerns that could cause high future costs. For example, e-health can identify patients that have not come in for their physicals. An automatic reminder, or a provider office outreach, can be conducted to schedule the appointment. Additionally, if a patient has been seen in their emergency room, a notice can be sent to the primary care office to let them know they need to follow up with their patient.
These interactions with the patient are a chance to help guide them in their healthcare needs. Although e-Health is an important factor in the quality of care for patients, the managing of the patient must be done by the office. E-health is an aid in the quality of care required in a fast-paced environment where a patient might not be aware or just wants to skip, important appointments that will help keep them healthy.
E-health is an innovative practice when it works in the patient’s favor by notifying their providers to make sure they are attending visits that are needed. When it comes to communication across providers, the trend is growing but far more difficult due to regulations that make this form of communication difficult. The protection of patient records, in some cases, could make a patient’s care disappointing if a provider does not know to follow up due to non-communicating e-health systems.
It may be the next big trend that providers and patients demand these e-health systems provider better record keeping so providers and patients are not left in the dark about very important follow-up care.