For patients who are already burdened with health issues, any point of stability can improve their healthcare experiences and satisfaction. Doctors have an opportunity to be that point, but often they are burdened with paperwork that causes a backlog of work, affecting their ability to spend critical one-on-one time with patients and ultimately affecting patient satisfaction scores.
Although digital health solutions like electronic health records have helped free physicians from paperwork, they have in some cases added to the workload, and doctors need a mobile solution that lets them spend time with patients and get their work done — simultaneously.
The Continuous Drain on Time and Satisfaction
Most physicians still want to take time with their patients, and that’s because time spent listening and engaging encourages better understanding of a patient’s health and how to optimize it.
However, the recent drop in face time — doctors now spend less time with patients than some of us spend in line at Starbucks — is bound to have significant impact on patient satisfaction scores. But patients aren’t the only ones who are unhappy with doctor-patient interactions. According to The Hill, a Medscape survey of over 14,000 physicians cited burnout as a key factor in physician dissatisfaction. Additionally, an American Medical Association survey, reported in the Annals of Internal Medicine, shows that for every hour doctors spend with patients, they spend an additional two hours on administrative tasks, and 1 to 2 hours after work on additional tasks.
Electronic health records should have made things easier for doctors, at least in part. Instead, they are are time-consuming and contributing to job dissatisfaction and burnout.
Fortunately some simple developments in mobile technology offer a solution.
A Twist on the Tablet
Advancements in the form of slim, light, 2-in-1 laptops bring physicians the flexibility they need to break down exam room communication barriers and loop patients into phases of the data access and entry processes that aren’t possible with traditional consoles or even laptops.
These detachables feature the lightweight profiles (with no loss of computing power or keyboard size), vivid displays and touchscreens that bring convenience and entertainment to everyday life, and have the potential to directly address the primary challenges to physician-patient exam room interactions.
The new breed of Windows 2-in-1 is lightweight enough to be carried around an exam room with minimal strain on multitasking physicians. The ability to detach from the keyboard, shift from laptop to tablet mode, also allows for smooth transition from EHR data entry to sharing displays, charts and imaging results with patients.
This flexibility means better communication, and is an additional benefit 2-in-1s bring to the exam room. Touchscreen options, with their simple navigation and ease of interface, open the door to a more personalized patient experience and one that feels familiar and less clinical. Improved eye contact facilitated by the inherent flexibility of 2-in-1 models can boost a patient’s sense of engagement, and ultimately patient satisfaction scores, through readable interfaces that make communication easier for both patients and doctors. This improvement is especially important, as patients are receiving increasingly complex data and information, and comprehension of diagnosis and care plans becomes more challenging.
The best part is that all of this is accomplished without a loss of the processing power needed to navigate complex electronic health records and imaging systems.
Administrators in particular should keep in mind that addressing patient satisfaction challenges through technology doesn’t always have to mean huge outlays on infrastructure or dramatic platform overhauls. Sometimes, simple adjustments and upgrades can go a long way in meeting the needs and improving the experiences of both clinicians and patients.
From securing electronic health records to improving patient education, our hospital technology delivers a smart, comfortable experience for patients every step of the way.