RATIONALE: The Electronic Medical Record (EMR) is widely used in clinical settings. Behaviors that enhance patient-centered EMR use have been shown to result in higher patient satisfaction. The aim of this project is to increase provider utilization of two specific behaviors and therefore patient satisfaction.
METHODS: Study was conducted over an 8-week period at the Allergy/Immunology clinic at Emory University. Baseline data about existing practice habits were collected in a 2 week audit period. After the 1st cycle, an intervention described two techniques for patient-centered EMR use. After the 2nd cycle, an intervention reminded providers of the techniques and instituted physical reminder notes on exam room workstations. Patient surveys were distributed by nurses directly after visits about use of the two techniques.
RESULTS: Patient surveys from the audit period showed 53% were shown the screen as an educational tool (behavior 1) and 67% reported the provider reading aloud while typing (behavior 2). After cycle 1, 80% of patients reported providers utilizing behavior 1 and 86% of patients reported providers utilizing behavior 2 (n=21). After cycle 2, 79% of patients reported providers utilizing behavior 1 and 76% of patients reported providers utilizing behavior 2 (n=28).
CONCLUSIONS: Educating providers and increasing awareness about their practice habits and use of physical reminder notes were associated with increased percentages of patients reporting provider use of patient-centered EMR behaviors. With patient satisfaction an integral part of the practice of medicine, utilizing these changes may lead to a better overall experience for the patient.