A patient care coordinator works diligently to ensure patients receive the best possible care throughout their healthcare experience. Care coordinators work with nurses, doctors, therapists, families and, of course, the patient themselves to meet their needs and walk through efficient, well-rounded treatment plans. Patient care coordinators are there to answer any questions the patient may have about their care.
Did you know that one of the best tools a patient care coordinator can have is an up-to-date electronic health record?
Electronic health records, or EHRs, have become commonplace in the medical world in 2022. Systems like Epic MyChart, Allscripts and Practice Fusion help healthcare providers see a patient’s medical history almost instantaneously. This eases the stress of shift change, transfers or changing providers for both the patient and the providers. Patients know they won’t have to answer the same questions over and over, and providers can save time on some of the background information.
EHRs are a Crucial Tool for Patient Care Coordinators
When a patient’s EHR is up-to-date, a patient care coordinator can benefit in multiple ways. First, the coordinator can review the EHR before they speak to the patient. This way they can ask informed questions and understand areas of concern for the patient. Certainly the coordinator should still ask the patient for information they’d like to share, rather than relying entirely on what’s typed into the report, but it provides a great starting point.
Second, a care coordinator can see information that’s been added by multiple providers. Whether the patient is being seen by a physician or a nurse practitioner, receiving treatment from a physical or occupational therapist, or getting a second opinion from another specialist, the details are in one place. This makes the care coordinator’s job simpler, as they can confidently share and explain this information to the patient and their family.
Finally, in some cases a patient might turn to a care coordinator for assistance with billing and insurance questions. If their EHR is updated, the care coordinator can easily reference doctors, procedures, visits and anything else they may need to begin finding the answer for the patient.
EHRs Facilitate Better Communication
Providers and care coordinators can use EHRs to communicate with one another. Whether by leaving notes on a report about a patient’s visit or leaving messages related to test results, much of the value of an EHR comes from the messages between providers. However, when you look at the patient-facing versions of these records, communication becomes even more important.
For patients who are going through post-acute rehab, they might have questions that arise while they’re at home working on their various exercises. Through an EHR platform like an app or website, the patient can easily send a message to their care team. Chances are a patient care coordinator will see that message before a physician will. Depending on the question, the care coordinator might be able to answer it themselves, or they can find someone who knows the answer. Care coordinators can help patients get answers more quickly.
Electronic health records are an important part of the continuum of care for patients at all stages. They can save providers time, which can in turn save healthcare facilities money. For many post acute rehab hospitals, there are more hidden costs than administrators know. Most of these hidden costs come in the form of wasted time. If you want to see how these costs are impacting your facility, we invite you to download our free cost calculator.