How Providers Can Make the Most of Their Patient Encounters

Every encounter with a patient is precious as it has a butterfly effect on multiple areas of your practice. When a patient has a positive encounter, they are more likely to engage in follow-up care, they are more likely to pay on their medical expenses, and they are more likely to communicate with their provider should concerns arise. Protecting and improving your patient encounters is vital to the growth and sustainability of your practice. Providers should be aware of how to make the most of these encounters.

Understand Your Staff

1) How do they Work?

Each member of your staff, as well as each department, works differently, and it is important to grasp how each member works the best. By optimizing and catering to your staff members, you can help them truly work most effectively each day. By paying attention to how your staff works most productively and helping them do their best, your staff is less likely to experience burnout. In other words, when your staff is happy, your patients are more likely to experience a positive patient encounter.

2) Establish Protocols for Each Role

When there is a system in place for how each person and department, things always work more accurately and efficiently. This does not mean that a protocol should not be adjusted and changed at times, but having a structure for how things are operated and completed can improve patient encounters. This helps relieve unnecessary tasks from the shoulders of the provider so that they can also work more effectively.

Your EHR can optimize Each Patient Encounter

The Electronic Health Record has been proven to help providers and their team work more effectively and improve patient encounters.

Here is how:

1) Custom Workflow

Mentioned before, each member of your staff works differently and in order to optimize each person’s workflow with the same tools available, your EHR should offer a customizable workflow. The smoother your team is able to work, the better they are able to make the most of a patient encounter. Custom workflow helps providers complete tasks more efficiently to better direct their attention to the patient.

2)    Simplified Documentation

Another way to direct the attention of the treating physician back to their patient is to offer simplified documentation that maintains high accuracy while preventing the physician from being on their computer for the entirety of the patient encounter.

3) Prescribe

Electronic prescriptions may seem like old news, but they truly enable a smoother patient encounter as the provider is able to prescribe more efficiently and in a way that makes it easier for the patient. Directly from the patient’s chart, providers can prescribe from a list of most used medications based on the diagnoses. Here, they can also identify the closest pharmacy for the patient to pick up their prescription. This could be the closest to their provider, to their home, or even their hotel if they are out of town.

4) Quick Communication 

Patient encounters no longer take place solely in the doctor’s office. In 2019, patient encounters come in many forms including telehealth, e-visits, and electronic messaging via the patient portal. In order to make the most out of all patient encounters, providers should make sure they are using their patient portal to offer quick and accessible communication to their patients. This includes offering quick responses to questions and concerns, but also quick communication of test and lab results. Quick communication enables a smooth encounter by helping your patients get the information they are eager to receive. 

To learn more about how to improve patient satisfaction, patient engagement, and make the most of each patient encounter, click here.