Documenting a patient encounter is a long-time requirement for practices of all specialties. It is a time where a physician can summarize a visit by listing symptoms, diagnoses, and treatment plan. It is an important process for all healthcare providers because it helps keep track of a patient’s health and treatment. It also gives other specialists that may see the patient access to detailed information regarding the patient’s medical history. The concept of summarizing a visit with notes has been the same through electronic integration and the elimination of paper charts. For the first time, in a long time, this is changing. It is no longer only doctors who take notes, but the patients as well. Allowing patients to contribute to visit notes is a new practice for many healthcare providers. This new idea shows great strength in increasing patient engagement.
Increased Patient Engagement
Providing the ability for patients to work with their doctors to discuss a visit can increase patient engagement substantially. It gives patients better understanding of their health information while allowing them to contribute to it. The industry is constantly making improvements in what information patients have access to when it comes to their health. Up to this point, patients have been able to access their physician’s notes, but not do anything about it. Now, patients have the ability to work with their doctors to discuss their health and care plans. After a visit, a patient can go back and reflect on their doctor’s notes, and then contribute their own.
This change in format has turned a patient’s health into a discussion, where they can ask questions and learn. This inherently increases patient engagement by putting the patient’s health back in their own hands. Patient engagement directly affects the control a patient has over their own health, and how accountable they are for it. If you give your patients a way to work with you when it comes to their health, patient engagement will rise.
This new concept of allowing patients to contribute to the notes of their visit is giving them better control over their health. Patients who are more accountable tend to have better outcomes and catch red flags sooner than later. If a patient can provide notes for their visit, it creates room for improvement for all parties. It creates a place where patients can work in conjunction with their physicians to figure out a health plan of action that works best for them. This increase in patient engagement will not only benefit them but your practice as well. Consider making this change within your practice in the future and watch patient engagement continue to increase over time.