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Stephen O'Connor

By: Stephen O'Connor on December 27th, 2013

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How Simple EHR Tools Can Be Used to Engage and Educate Patients

Electronic Health Records | Value-Based Care

How Simple EHR Tools Can Be Used to Engage and Educate PatientsA major aspect of any medical organization is the ability to offer ongoing educational resources to patients. The more you can encourage your patients to learn about what steps they can take to get healthy and stay healthy, the better off they and your practice will be. What’s more, as you engage your patients, they will have a more positive attitude toward your practice and your staff. Fortunately, there are simple electronic health record tools that your organization can use to both engage and educate each of your patients.

Recommend Preventative Care Options

When your patients check into the EHR system, the software will quickly determine whether they have had a flu shot, for example, and can generate a reminder on the spot. You can also have the EHR system send out reminders via email, which is beneficial when patients don’t go online to use the system that often.

In a family practice, you can program the system to issue reminders about school and government-mandated vaccinations to make sure they comply with these requirements in a timely fashion.

When it’s hay fever season, you can use the EHR system to remind patients about their medical options and provide tips on staying well when the pollen count is high, for example. Patients that are due to have a colonoscopy or a breast exam because of their age can receive a personalized reminder about the procedure well ahead of time.

Communicate with Doctors and Other Staff Via Secure Email

Who hasn’t dreaded calling up the doctor’s office to get a quick answer to a pressing question, or to clarify something that a nurse or doctor said during a visit earlier in the day? With EHR software, you can enable your patients to freely communicate with doctors, nurses and other staff members via email, safely and securely.

This will drastically cut down on the time your staff must expend on answering phones, typing in messages to the physician’s assistant, and then having to follow up to make sure that every patient has had his or her questions answered within an appropriate period of time.

Your patients will most assuredly appreciate the convenience of being able to communicate with their healthcare providers in the same way they communicate with the rest of the world, using ubiquitous email and text messaging from any smartphone when away from their desktop computer.

Set Appointments Online and Get Reminders

Patients enjoy the freedom of being able to go online and set up their own appointments. With more people using smartphones and tablet computers, you can accommodate a busy parent who’s picking up the kids from school, letting him or her set up an appointment while on the go.

You can also use the EHR system to issue reminders via email, text messages or even automated phone calls. Some systems let you record audio reminders in the voices of your actual staff, which is another important way to increase patient engagement with your practice.


If you have been struggling for better methods to keep your patients more informed on health topics, you should consider using EHR tools to educate then and keep them engaged with your practice.

Key Takeaways

  • Medical organizations are advised to provide as much educational materials as they can to help their patients become better informed about what they can do to maintain their health.
  • Patients enjoy using EHR tools to do things like set up their appointments and get reminders about preventative care options.
  • Engage your patients more fully by giving them secure, online access to their own medical records.
  • Enabling patients to communicate with doctors and other members of your staff via email will go a long way toward keeping them satisfied with your medical organization.
The complete guide to electronic health records software

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About Stephen O'Connor

As a Director of Digital Marketing at Advanced Data Systems Corporation, Stephen spends his day's planning, writing, & designing resources for the modern healthcare professional. He has a strong affinity for snow crab legs, the ocean, and Rutgers Football.