Mobile EHR technology brought with it the potential to transform clinical care. Improving patient satisfaction, reducing provider workload and boosting efficiency throughout the office are some of the main benefits of cloud-based mobile technology for independent practices. Here are some tips and best practices to help you maximize the impact of your mobile EHR:
Tip #1 - Make Sure Everyone in Your Practice Has Access to Mobile EHR
To experience all of the benefits that cloud-based mobile software can offer your practice, it’s important that everyone in the office has mobile access. This gives everyone quick and HIPAA-compliant access to patient demographics.
Multi-provider practices can facilitate a higher-level of coordination of care. Clinical assistants especially appreciate engaging with patients on an ipad during visits to capture vitals, start clinical notes, document patient history and for other clinical activities. Front office staff can make scheduling changes on the go and communicate with patients and fellow staff through secure text messaging. For instance, Kareo Clinical EHR offers built-in secure two-way messaging.
Tip #2 - For Patient Exams and Charting, Use an iPad (Not a Phone)
As a general rule, try to use an ipad when meeting with patients; when you’re on the go in and out of the office, take full advantage of accessing info and entering data on a phone. An ipad looks professional, while still providing mobility. On the other hand, a phone can give the unintended impression that the provider is distracted or unprepared.
For charting on an ipad, you’ll benefit from setting up an ipad keyboard to speed up data entry of patient notes.
Tip #3 - Start Out Using a Few Useful EHR Features
If you’re introducing mobile EHR to your practice, start by implementing a few useful tasks that serve an immediate need. For instance, taking patient photos on mobile devices is a vast improvement to static webcams that can be awkward and inconvenient.
Also, scheduling on mobile can provide up-to-the-minute updates on room assignments and patients in the waiting room. For easy wins implementing mobile in your office, consider key functions that are better on mobile and introduce those first.
Tip #4 - Choose a Mobile EHR With a Native App
There’s a big difference between using a mobile EHR that is native to the operating system vs. a web application viewed through the browser. As an example, compare making a purchase on Amazon using their native app vs. navigating their mobile website.
Native apps benefit from being optimized for and supported by the operating system. They can be securely distributed and updated through the official app store, have an icon on your home screen for easy access and most importantly, provide a much more performant user experience.
Native apps don't need to load and refresh as much content as you navigate, so you see faster performance. You get much better battery life and easier access to system-level hardware like the camera, sensors and biometric ID. Compared to a laptop, mobile devices provide the flexibility of a cellular network, portability and a massive increase in battery life (10 hours vs 1-5 hours).
Make sure your mobile EHR native app offers the same full features as the web application.
Tip #5 - Take Advantage of Biometric ID for Secure Login
Are you tired of typing in passwords, getting error messages, retyping then getting locked out? Some mobile EHR applications let you set up biometric ID for a faster and more secure login process. (See: Are Biometrics the Future of HIPAA Security?)
For instance, Kareo’s Mobile EHR lets you use fingerprint or face recognition as biomteric ID to securely log in.
Tip #6 - Choose Integration With Billing and Patient Engagement
Your EHR should not be island. If you’re logging into various applications, toggling between multiple windows, copying and pasting data, imagine how much better it would be if you had all the information and features you needed throughout the whole patient workflow in one view? An integrated software platform for practice management and patient care provides scheduling, medical information, communication, engagement, billing and payments—all of the functions of running an efficient and growing practice—in one place.
If your mobile EHR has limited access to any of these features, you will start seeing a drop off of use. A few moments of frustration with new technology can impact how quickly (if ever) it is adopted in a medical practice. Set your practice up for success by making sure your mobile EHR is full-featured, performs well and is easy to use.