Monday, November 27, 2006

Consumer-driven healthcare equals more physician IT use

Consumer-driven healthcare equals more physician IT use: "The FCG report concludes that if physicians are to find success in the CDH environment, they must learn to manage the “customer experience” in ways akin to the sales management process in non-healthcare industries. To do this, practices may turn to customer resource management technologies, which are not widely used in physician practices at the present.

Electronic health records will be a necessary first step for physicians wanting to compete in a CDH environment. FCG recommends, however, that physicians should purchase an ambulatory EHR system that has e-prescribing, decision support capabilities, and can support the ability to report on performance as a byproduct of documenting care. To be truly useful to physicians dealing with CDH, an EHR must also have the ability to accept data from, and provide data to, external systems.

“Just having an EHR system will not be enough,” said Brandman. “You must be able to get data from outside sources.”

Brandman added that Web portal technology might also be critical to physician success in the CDH world. She said that portals will enable physicians to exchange member and claims information with health plans online, and that patients will use portals to pay account balances. Modified portals might also allow for online consultations, or “e-visits.” "

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