Electronic health record (EHR) technology and the ways that providers use it to communicate with their colleagues and with patients is affecting how satisfied consumers are with their hospital organizations, according to a new Black Book market research.
The insight is revealed within the eighth annual Black Book industry surveys of inpatient EHR users including hospital staff, managers, networked physicians and patient panels. The data revealed that 89 percent of healthcare consumers under 40 years old, who were polled in this year's survey on hospital provider technologies, disclosed they are unsatisfied with the technology capabilities of the healthcare organizations with which they seek services. And 84 percent asserted they are seeking the most technologically advanced and electronically communicative medical organizations available for their healthcare alternatives.
“Involvement with healthcare consumers through technologies is proving to be a significant element of patient satisfaction," said Doug Brown, managing partner of Black Book Research. "Healthcare consumers more frequently interact through electronic media in 2018, and while they value contact with their providers, they don't have the patience for lacks in hospital interoperability, incorrect billing and access to scheduling and results."
The report noted that younger generations of healthcare consumers have higher expectations and expressed a greater degree of dissatisfaction with their inpatient provider experience where complete medical records (92 percent dissatisfied) and telehealth (85 percent dissatisfied) options are not offered. "Patients expect and want to interact more with hospitals through digital channels like email, apps and social media rather than interacting on a traditionally personal level with clinical and financial back office staff," said Brown.
However, 78 percent of hospitals responding in the survey reported they have not prioritized or budgeted more meaningful improvements in patient engagement, interoperability or patient communications for the current calendar year 2018.
"The revenue cycle management channel of healthcare IT systems had the lowest positive experience," said Brown. "Hospitals are taking steps to improve it, but they have a way to go."
What’s more, for 69 percent of surveyed consumers, the business office and insurance processes can be the most important moment when overall satisfaction of a hospital organization is concluded, for cases where patient care met expectations. "Part of this is probably due in part to patient expectations that have been set beyond most hospital's technological capabilities for interoperability with both other providers and payors," said Brown.
Eighty-eight percent of surveyed consumers blame the hospital system directly, not the EHR systems or financial technology for the lack in patient record portability and access among providers.
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