The Case for Physician Dashboards
Online patient portals are gaining popularity as a mechanism for informing patients about (and engaging them in) their healthcare. In a recent white paper, Drummond Group, an EHR certification organization, suggested thinking of the “patient portal as a platform [vs. an application] with many applications that can be built on it instead of just a singular application. It is a platform for patients to see and share their health data and engage with clinicians.”
That model also makes sense for an organization’s physician-facing IT environment. Regardless of a hospital’s underlying transactional and clinical information systems, physicians appreciate a consistent, intuitive and holistic IT user experience, in which the most meaningful patient information – for that patient, in that moment – is presented in a comprehensible way; and related applications for interpreting and/or acting on that patient information are readily accessible, consistent with a physician’s normal workflow. That’s one of the guiding principles behind the design of PatientKeeper’s latest release, which features provider- and specialty-specific dashboards as the primary physician user interface.
For physicians, clicking between multiple screens of an EHR can be intensely frustrating, because it is inefficient and a huge time drain. It also can disrupt a provider’s thought process, with potentially negative consequences for patient care.
Dashboards that can be customized to the needs and preferences of each physician, and that highlight the information most pertinent to a particular patient’s current situation, make good sense – and will enable better healthcare. After all, providers deserve technology that’s at least as useful (and usable) to them as the portals being offered to their patients.