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where we cover interesting and relevant news, insights, events, and more related to the health care industry and pMD. Most importantly, this blog is a fun, engaging way to learn about developments in an ever-changing field that is heavily influenced by technology.

POSTS BY TAG | Patient Engagement



Doctors spend so much of their time on the go, moving from place to place caring for patients. They see twenty patients per day on average, spending most of their extra time doing paperwork. We’ve talked a lot about efficiency as it relates to using technology to reduce administrative burden and complexity, to make time for what really matters most — your patients. But how can you make sure that the time spent with patients is being used to its full advantage? This is where effective communication is essential.



The Very Different Impressions of Doctor-Patient Communication


Studies have shown that medical professionals often overestimate their abilities to convey information clearly. The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery surveyed orthopedic surgeons after they met with patients, and while 75% of them believed they had communicated satisfactorily, when their patients were asked how they’d done, only 21% reported that their doctors had communicated well with them. That’s quite a significant delta and shows that two people can very often leave a conversation with completely different impressions of how it went.


There are a few reasons this can happen. Aside from potentially being in a hurry, dealing with as many patients as they do, physician burnout can lead to an increased detachment, which may cause doctors to misinterpret cues. It can be easy to stop treating patients as individuals with different needs and styles of communication.



Views on the Importance of Honest Communication Have Changed


While for much of the 20th century it was a common belief that giving patients hope and keeping them happy was more important than honesty, the modern schools of thought disagree completely. Patients who trust their doctors are more likely to follow their instructions, as well as provide them with the information they need to make an accurate diagnosis or treatment plan. Likewise, it is now understood that having a sense of understanding and control of your circumstances is much more beneficial to a patient than simply being comforted. 


Patients are more educated than ever before, and due to the ease and convenience of the Internet, they have resources at their disposal to form opinions and questions about their own health care. To get the most out of the time spent with patients, it’s imperative to treat the interaction as a mutually beneficial relationship.



Solutions for Improving Communication with Patients


Some proposed solutions include AIDET® Five Fundamentals of Patient Communication and The RESPECT Model. While slightly different approaches, they both have the same goal: ensuring that physicians are using the best communication skills they have at their disposal and fostering a sense of trust with their patients. It’s important to remember that each patient is an individual with their own set of needs that must be acknowledged and addressed.


If you are interested in learning more about pMD’s HIPAA-compliant secure communication and telehealth tools, please contact us here or give us a call at 800-587-4989 x2. We’d love to hear from you!


 

To find out more about pMD's suite of products, which includes our charge capture and MIPS registry, billing services, telehealthsecure messagingclinical communication, and care navigation software and services, please contact pMD.

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Patient Communication Tools for Better Patient Care
Healthcare Communication Solutions - pMD Much More Than Secure Messaging
Physician Burnout & How pMD Can Help
Inclusive software for providers

Over 1.4 million Americans identify as part of the transgender community and, moreover, are faced with increased mortality rates and lower life expectancies. This is due to many factors such as acts of violence, suicide, acquired immunodeficiency syndrome, cardiovascular disease, drug abuse, and various cancers. 

Simple Changes Can Make a Huge Difference in Patient Outcome

Some may not feel like there’s much that can be done to change these factors, but in the sphere of health care, that’s changing. Improving the patient experience from beginning to end is a starting point. Making simple changes such as ensuring that the patient’s correct name and pronouns are being used during registration, throughout the patient’s stay, and through any follow-up appointments, can actually make a huge difference in patient outcome. In doing so, health care teams can provide validating experiences and build trust with the patient. 

Inclusive Software Helps Bring Change

Inclusive software for providers has been proven to improve the patient experience and promote patient safety. Members of the transgender community have historically low rates of cancer screenings. In one study published by the American Cancer Society, eligible transgender patients were approximately 70 percent less likely than cisgender patients to be screened for breast cancer, 60 percent less likely to be screened for cervical cancer, and 50 percent less likely to be screened for colorectal cancers. According to one physician in this study, these patients “remain susceptible to cancers of reproductive organs that are no longer in alignment with their gender.” Some contributing factors to these historically low rates of cancer screening include the individual’s fear of discrimination, lack of provider education, and electronic systems failing to send out appointment reminders based on patients’ documented identifiers. Health care systems and the software platforms they use can implement guardrails so that no patient is missed. 

The transgender population is also at increased risk of cardiovascular disease, specifically transgender men. The Journal of the American Heart Association published a study that revealed transgender men had greater than a two-fold and greater than a four-fold increase in the rate of myocardial infarction compared to cisgender men and cisgender women, respectively. How can health systems clearly indicate and identify these risk factors and display them to providers? 

Lab results pose another potential risk factor for this population. Lab reference ranges are often split out by male and female, and what’s considered an elevated level for one sex may not be for the other. If we had a trans man, for example, their legal identification might be male, and their health care provider compares their lab to the standard range for males. This lab may not appear to be elevated. But when comparing it to the biologically female population, perhaps that same lab result would potentially be flagged as abnormal. Health systems need to help ensure that providers are using proper reference ranges based on their patients’ anatomy to prevent patient harm. 

What can we do in the sphere of intervention and mental health? Transgender teenagers and adults face increased substance abuse and suicide rates. The largest survey of transgender people in the U.S. to date found that 81.7 percent of respondents reported ever seriously thinking about suicide in their lifetimes, while 48.3 percent had done so in the past year. What are practices doing to increase outreach to these populations? How can electronic health systems help automate that process? 

pMD Creates Customized Inclusive Software for Providers

At pMD, we can create customized workflows designed to streamline patient engagement for various scenarios. We can all help move the needle forward to improve patient care, whether it’s embracing new education and new workflows, or continuing to develop inclusive software with the patient in mind. pMD is ever-evolving to serve the needs of patients and practices. Contact us to learn more about how pMD can best assist you and your practice!

Related Articles:
Customizing Patient-Centric Solutions for Better Care: Clinical Communication that Improves Resident Training
Conquering Medical Error
Value-Based Care: Capturing the Complexities Around Chronic Illness

 

To find out more about pMD's suite of products, which includes our charge capture and MIPS registrysecure messagingclinical communication, and care navigation software and services, please contact pMD.






Telehealth is not a new concept, but amid the recent public health concerns surrounding the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak, it has catapulted to the top of most practices’ priority list. During this pandemic, it is essential to stay informed and know what free resources are available to your practice to help slow the spread of the virus while continuing to provide patients with a high level of care and reassurance. “The use of telemedicine is going to be critical for management of this pandemic,” said Dr. Stephen Parodi, an infectious disease specialist and executive with The Permanente Medical Group, the doctors’ group associated with Kaiser Permanente. 

Telemedicine a Good, Safe Option for COVID-19 Screening & Patient Care

When possible, using virtual visits provides a safe option for care, while helping contain the spread of the infection at hospitals, clinics, and medical offices. Implementing or expanding an existing telehealth strategy will enable health care organizations to safely screen and treat patients for coronavirus. If patients can receive virtual guidance to help know when they need to be seen or tested, we can limit the number of people who show up unannounced at the emergency room or doctor’s office as well as avoid crowded waiting rooms and potential infection. Good communication with patients is key to keeping the worried as calm as possible and away from clinical care so that practices can steer the most at risk to the proper treatment.

Updates To Telehealth Billing for Services During Pandemic

As part of an $8.3 billion emergency funding measure, the government has granted the Department of Human Health and Services (HHS) the ability to loosen restrictions on the use of telemedicine by broadening the originating requirements and providing a nationwide waiver during this emergency. CMS, state Medicaid agencies, and commercial insurers are taking steps to expand telehealth coverage and reimbursement. To improve access to care, CMS announced that during this crisis, Medicare will pay for telehealth services (conducted via video) regardless of the originating site. Private health insurers, including Aetna, Cigna, Humana, and United Healthcare, have also agreed to cover telehealth visits for the next 90 days in some states. Reimbursement policies vary from state to state, so practices are encouraged to confirm local guidelines. 

For more information, please see CMS’s frequently asked questions for health care providers and fact sheet for telehealth services. You can also find additional information regarding new telehealth rules and procedure codes for testing on the American Academy of Family Physicians website. 

pMD’s Free Telehealth Tools

pMD® Secure Messaging™ provides a secure, HIPAA compliant free telemedicine platform solution that allows practices to connect, triage, and follow up with patients through secure, HIPAA-compliant text, video, and voice calling. You can easily invite patients to download the application at no cost to facilitate timely communication when it matters most:

          * provide health safety guidelines and recommendations
          * share important practice updates and announcements
          * outreach to your most vulnerable patient population
          * perform telehealth visits with patients advised not to leave their homes

For help setting up patient communication or to contact pMD customer support, please give us a call at 800-587-4989 x1 or email support@pmd.com. 

Stay safe, everyone!


To find out more about pMD's suite of products, which includes our charge capture and MIPS registrysecure messagingclinical communication, and care navigation software and services, please contact pMD.