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Medical encounters have dramatically changed over the past six decades. In 1960 there was virtually zero focus on documented care – at the most, doctors kept paper notes and shared patient information with specialists on an as-needed-basis. The Electronic Health Records (EHR) created portable, comprehensive patient records that track every detail of daily life, plus collect data across all medical conditions, prescriptions, mental health management, socioeconomic status and so much more. While all these data points provide opportunities to improve patient outcomes and self-directed care, many doctors feel pressured to do more with less.

However, we live in a digital world that is simultaneously awe-inspiring and overwhelming. The average Primary Care, Internal Medicine doctor in the United States sees more than 3,000 patients each year and orders as many as 1,200 lab tests. Along with face-to-face patient encounters, the primary provider will review between 300 and 500 radiology reports, prescribe around 2,500 medications and confirm or rule out more than 10,000 conditions. To best serve patients, primary care physicians must stay informed about new pharmaceutical advancements, emerging technology and innovations in healthcare treatments. Each year some 400,000 medical studies and articles are published, but who has time to read them all and deciding which ones are most valuable is challenging.

As Meaningful Use incentives come to an end, EHR adoption rates are up. However, many physicians spend four hours reporting and performing non-clinical task for every one hour spent on patient-facing activities. Enhanced billing and revenue capture shows no direct correlation to quality of care. Many providers are struggling to find a balance. And, with so much to do, and so little time with patients, dedicated doctors don't want to invest precious time exploring EHR and EMR software solutions. Some have reached a breaking point because it feels like there is no longer a human component – it is all about diving into the data to find ways to manage care delivery and treating the patient takes a back seat.

Providers are looking for an intelligent system that can handle administrative tasks, such as insurance verification, co-payments and billing, effectively so they can get back to practicing medicine, whether it is through telemedicine technologies or face-to-face medical encounters. They need a single pane clinical decision support option that is user-friendly and patient-focused. Fortunately, there are innovative solutions available now that don't require hours of research or weeks trying to master a steep learning curve. Nowadays technology such as EHR with integrated intelligence gives patients and doctors new ways to interact, and saves both time and money for the patient-consumer and doctors.

by Ashish Mehta, CEO PatientClick