Best Practices Developed for Use of EHR to Enhance Patient Care

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Researchers developed best practices for electronic health records that can be followed using the acronym HUMAN LEVEL.
Researchers developed best practices for electronic health records that can be followed using the acronym HUMAN LEVEL.

HealthDay News — Best practices have been developed for using electronic health records (EHRs) to enhance patient-centered care, according to an article published online in Medical Economics.

During the recent American College of Physicians 2018 Internal Medicine Meeting in New Orleans, Wei Wei Lee, M.D., M.P.H., from the University of Chicago's Pritzker School of Medicine, discussed ways in which EHRs can improve doctor-patient communication based on research undertaken one year after adoption of EHRs.

The researchers distilled their ideas into the acronym HUMAN LEVEL. These include Honoring the first minute of the patient encounter by talking to the patient and Using the triangle of trust, which allows the physician and patient to both view the EHR.

Patient interaction should be Maximized by encouraging questions. Physicians should Acquaint themselves with the patient's chart ahead of time. The screen should be Nixed when patients start to discuss a sensitive or emotional topic. The doctor should Let the patient look while information is being entered into the EHR. Eye contact should be maintained as much as possible throughout the visit. The Value of the computer and EHR should be emphasized, and it can be used as a tool for engaging patients by jointly viewing data. Doctors should Explain what they are doing in the patient's presence. Physicians should Log off while the patient is present to reassure them that information remains private.

"We found that overall patients regarded EHRs as a really positive presence in the exam room," Lee said, according to the article.

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