The medical care process has drastically changed over the past decades, as most hospitals and doctors have changed their functions and duties from paper charts to Electronic Health Records (EHRs), which help clinicians order medications, document treatment decisions, and review laboratory results in a faster and convenient manner. These electronic health records can provide better efficiencies, improve patient engagement, and provide patients as well as medical professionals with more information for decision-making.
In order to have the information for patients, doctors, nurses, and other clinicians, EHRs should be able to share data between different hospitals, offices, and other facilities where individuals search for care, especially when healthcare providers are getting new patients and need to get information from earlier care providers. Exchange of effective data also helps clinicians and hospitals to get information to effectively treat patients with severe conditions.
When patient matching becomes ineffective, patients will have various safety problems. If an incompatible record with wrong information comes in, the patient becomes liable to face unfavorable effects. Improper patient matching can also result in costly repetitive tests or delays in treatment. Efforts to improve patient matching can create more satisfaction in the minds of the patients as it offers them more efficient health care.
During patient intake, the directorial worker would send a programmed text message to the patient’s phone. The text will generate a verification code. When the message and code get linked with the patient’s phone number, the clinic or hospital will get information about the patients’ previous medical records. These applications could provide virtual clipboards to substitute the process of the patient manually filling out all the information on paper forms when arriving for services. A patient would enter this information only once, which would then be used again and sent electronically.
Patient matching will not be ideal in an emergency occasion, or a situation in which the patient is unable to complete the proper verification process. Another challenge is the lack of Smartphone usage of pediatric patients, where this technology becomes ineffective.
However, continuous improvements in patient matching provide a very efficient patient admission management system in the healthcare industry, and this technology is expected to continue to advance in the future.