Engaging Patients

Providers and patients who share access to electronic health information can collaborate in informed decision making. Patient participation is especially important in managing and treating chronic conditions such as asthma, diabetes, and obesity. You can leverage the benefits of electronic health records (EHRs) to help your organization:

  • Better share information with your patients: With EHRs, you can give patients detailed and accurate information about their health and health care. After an appointment or hospital stay, your organization can provide clinical summaries, reminders for follow-up care, or links to educational resources.
  • Communicate with patients: With EHRs, you can manage appointment schedules electronically and exchange e-mail with patients. Quick and easy communication with your patients will enable your organization to identify symptoms earlier, proactively reach out to patients, and improve health care quality.
  • Collect and manage the information you need to engage patients: EHRs will enable your organization to collect and manage important data about your patients. Using patient lists, your organization can identify and proactively engage at-risk patients.

EHRs can help your organization improve health care quality and encourage patients to take ownership of their health and health care.

Providers Like You

To learn about providers like you who are leveraging the benefits of electronic health records to engage patients and improve health care quality, see the following provider stories.

  • Dr. Michael Gilbert, a physician in a multispecialty group in Southern California, and physicians in his medical group use EHRs to chart patient data and share information with patients via 32-inch computer screens.
  • Dr. Christopher Tashjian, a specialist in family medicine, practices in rural Ellsworth, Wisconsin. In 2011, while Dr. Tashjian was visiting Estonia, one of his patients sent an email saying, “I’m out of high blood pressure medications.” Using a secure mobile connection to his EHR, Dr. Tashjian accessed his patient’s records, found the medication, and refilled the prescription at a local pharmacy.
  • Dr. Sherril Rieux, a physician in a small primary care practice in California, uses Body Mass Index information calculated by her EHR to initiate conversations with her patients about preventative health care and healthy lifestyles.