Patient Satisfaction: It’s All About Communication

While having lunch with a new user of DecisionBase in a small town in Marin County, I listened to his description of a woman he examined that morning.  She was a hospital administrator in her mid-fifties referred for examination and treatment of her periodontal condition.  At the conclusion of the examination, while he escorted her to the patient coordinator’s desk in the front office, back in the exam room his dental assistant created the chart notes, the letter to her referring dentist, the procedure specific pre-op and post-op instructions for that specific surgery and the informed consent for her to read and sign.

By the time the dentist and patient arrived at the patient coordinators desk, she had a copy of the referral report, the pre-op and post-op instructions and the informed consent documents ready for the patient.  The patient made the following comment:  “In the 26 years I have been in hospital administration, I have never seen the equivalent of this level of patient communication following an examination.  I am very impressed with your ability to provide me with all of this information so efficiently.”

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My doctor’s experience with an EMR

I spent an interesting visit with my internist yesterday for a periodic exam.  She and her two colleagues have implemented the use of an EMR into their practice as have almost 90% of physicians in private practice in the U.S.  As an EHR developer for dentistry, I have been very curious about her opinions of how the process has gone.

Certainly the financial incentives offered by the HITECH Act of 2009 made their decision to convert from paper charts to digital records more attractive.  She does not like the amount of typing she has to do to enter notes – admitting that she is not a good typist.  But, that said, looking back on the process and where they are today, she and her partners would never go back to paper charts.  They are now realizing the benefits gained from digital records that were never envisioned from a background of paper chart use and they also appreciated the increase in administrative efficiency that the practice had achieved.

This reminded me of a conversation with one of DecisionBase’s users in Rockwall, Texas who commented after 3 years of using our EHR: “Dr Rhodes, while feeling very grateful about what you have created, I feel that in some ways you are similar to a drug pusher: Once hooked on your software, there is no way I would ever go back to paper records.”

So won’t you share your comments of how DecisionBase have impacted you and your practice?

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