ZH Healthcare recently announced new features for the ZH OpenEMR Patient Portal that enhances communication between patients and physicians. Now patients have the option of becoming a partner with their physician, through the ability to upload various kinds of documents, such as their medical history and New Patient Registration. Patients can now upload secured photos for medical purposes long before having an initial appointment with their doctor. This jump starts the workflow process when becoming a practice’s patient on record, and allows the physician time to ponder and review their case, time that previously would have been spent during a face-to-face visit. This streamlined portal process reduces the steps and multiple stops made through traditional methods, and breaks down formerly existing communication barriers through direct patient participation. The ZH OpenEMR Patient Portal is available without a fee, free to OpenEMR users.
This update is only the latest ZH Healthcare contribution to OpenEMR, an ONC-ATB Ambulatory EHR 2011-2012 certified electronic health records and medical practice management application. OpenEMR features fully integrated electronic health records, practice management, scheduling, eRX, and electronic billing. OpenEMR is endlessly configurable to suit the individual needs of the practice, including how practices utilize portal features like uploading images.
Patients with questions regarding their health can also upload pictures to be sent securely and directly to their physician, alleviating the need to attempt to explain medical issues via text, and giving the provider an accurate visual beforehand. Patients who travel can likewise receive advice and online consulting from their preferred physician through their computer by uploading images of an area of concern. Patients who are not able to transport themselves or be transported for any reason to the practice can greatly benefit through the use of sending information through images. Patients in the process of healing from injury or surgery can upload secured photos for their physician to view and record their progress. Past barriers are no longer a concern, since in today’s society, patients are well-versed at uploading online information, due to the high level of current social media usage.
Shameem C. Hameed, Chairman of ZH Healthcare, states, “Practices are seeing real impact from the use of the OpenEMR Patient Portal. This includes reduced overhead costs and improved productivity. Enhancing the communications by adding the ability to upload images will add to these improvements, and further strengthen the patients’ satisfaction with their physician.”
Patients who at one time had to fill out a complete history by hand on paper, to then be reviewed by a professional, can now spend allotted time with their preferred physician in a more productive way, due to completing their histories online and in advance through the ZH OpenEMR Patient Portal. Patients can also view workups and paperwork received from other doctors prior to upcoming surgery, as well as letters written by their physician to other doctors regarding their care.
Other advantages include:
Upcoming Patient Portal features in the future may include items such as dashboards displaying summaries and alerts to patients when they log in, the ability for patients to complete physician encounter related forms, and video consultations by appointment.