Every doctor has been there. Standing next to a patient, discussing their condition, when suddenly you realize that they have no idea what you are talking about. You take out your pen, scribble a few notes on a piece of paper, and try to help your patient visualize the information you are trying to convey. In return you may get a quick nod of understanding or rather a confused look that begs you to explain one more time what is going on. It’s a regular occurrence in the life of a primary care physician, but could that be changing?
Health IT has exploded throughout the medical world the last few years. Once, terms like electronic health records and patient portals sparked a level of curiosity. Now, EHRs are part of our vernacular. Physicians have jumped on the automation bandwagon to increase efficiency in managing their practices and to encourage patient engagement. While going electronic was once considered a risk, it is now considered the norm for many independent physician practices. Doctors, however, aren’t the only ones benefiting from the ease of accessing health information at the touch of a finger.