Why do I #IHeartHIT? The benefits of being able to obtain and review clinical data remotely cannot be overstated. Patients are able to see results, chart updates, and clinical communications more quickly and easily. Accurate information can be retrieved and communicated to specialists and family members, and appointments can scheduled online or even conducted through telemedicine. The ever-growing idea of exchanging clinical information electronically is permeating through our culture and reaching people from all ages and walks of life.
Recently, these benefits hit close to home as my father-in-law experienced issues walking and breathing. His cardiologist determined it necessitated open-heart surgery, but prior to the go-ahead to schedule the procedure, he faced various hurdles including an angioplasty and a stent in his carotid artery. After the procedure, he required follow-up care from his team of doctors, who luckily for him, were able to communicate via computer. This allowed him to recuperate in the comforts of his home, while still obtaining the necessary follow-up care needed from his care team, virtually.
Patient portals create conveniences for both patients and doctors, such as saving travel time and expenses, while still making the patient an active participant in his/her treatment. Eliminating the commute to the clinic helped alleviate my father-in-law’s stress. His cardiologist was able to review his blood work, angiograms, and blood pressure readings by pulling up his EHR alongside the real-time video feed during the virtual office visit. The on the spot review, assessment, and update to the EHR also made it easier for his doctor to explain the procedures and his condition, empowering my father-in-law and our family to become even more of a partner in his care. It’s gratifying to see the efforts our of colleagues in the HIT industry manifest in real patient benefits, and for that reason #IHeartHIT!
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