Fierce Healthcare recently reported on a study that compared the information patients were including on paper questionnaires to what was actually recorded in the EMR. It probably comes as no surprise that the study found that frequently what was reported by the patients did not get added to the EMR. The researchers said that the reasons for the inconsistencies were not clear in the study, however they noted that factors likely included “time constraints, system-related errors and communication lapses.” This gap is a serious one that highlights the problem with using a static tool to coordinate healthcare.
In order to capture information provided by patients accurately and in a way that makes it meaningful and actionable in today’s complex healthcare environment, true Patient Relationship Management is a necessity.
Patient Relationship Management (PRM) goes beyond an EMR in that it doesn’t just collect and store information, it provides an interface for patients and their care teams to really engage. When information isn’t just collected and scanned into an EMR to check a box or fulfill a requirement, but actually flows between patients, their providers and their support network, it becomes much more meaningful and impactful.
Consider the workflow used in the study referenced earlier. The patient comes in and is given a paper questionnaire to fill out. That piece of paper may or may not get scanned into the EMR and may or may not be seen by the doctor. Unless the patient mentions their symptoms again, they could go untreated or even unacknowledged. Not a great outcome for the patient and certainly not the type of care that will be needed in a value-based world. For cancer care where treatments are complex and often difficult, knowing exactly what’s happening with each patient is even more important. An oncology-specific PRM platform, like Navigating Care, helps capture patient-reported outcomes in a meaningful manner and help practices avoid crucial communication lapses in a number of ways, including:
- Collecting information online. By making the forms like registration or other assessments accessible online, clinics don’t have to decipher handwriting and the information is visible to the care team without the need to open and read scanned documents. When they have an accurate overall picture of the patient’s health and medical history, providers are able to deliver more comprehensive care and coordinated care.
- Centralized triage. Using dedicated triage resources to manage incoming patient calls allows the care team to prioritize patient issues so they can focus their attention on the patients that need it most and, using symptom pathways, resolve issues quickly in a standardized, high quality way.
- Remote monitoring. PRM also enables remote monitoring – automating simple text messages to ensure medication adherence and to prompt patients to report side effects and symptoms. That information is immediately visible to the care team, via centralized triage, and if intervention is needed, they’ll know right away.
Patients should play a primary role in their care – if they are reporting symptoms or side effects but that information is getting misplaced or overlooked, not only could that negatively impact their care, it could also cause them to become disengaged. Without an engaged patient who feels cared for and listened to, it will be much more difficult to ensure high quality care and patient satisfaction.
If you would like to learn more about Patient Relationship Management, contact Navigating Cancer today.