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Electronic Health Records For Dummies by Anita Samarth, Trenor Williams

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Deciding what to share

You have to determine what kind of information you want to share with your patients. What you want your patients to know can drive your selection of delivery method. For example, you probably wouldn’t want to deliver sensitive test results via instant message. IM may be fine for casual administrative reminders (“Hey! Your appointment is tomorrow!”), but not for telling a patient she has cancer. Take care to set parameters for the types of information you communicate in electronic form.

Table 15-1 gives you a view of potential patient communication topics.

Table 15-1 Possible Patient Communication Topics

Administrative Needs and Tasks

Prescriptions

Clinical Issues

Caregiver Questions and Concerns

Appointment reminders

Reminders

Lab tests or diagnostic results that aren’t life threatening

Communication with parents about child’s healthcare needs, immunizations, and appointments

Registration

Refills

Immunization records and updates

Communication with adult children caring for an elderly parent (as long as consent is provided)

Billing issues or questions

Drug event or allergy questions

Allergy questions or recommendations

Educational materials

Insurance claims

Drug interaction updates

Action required after test results

Diagnosis-specific information

Coverage denials

Patient questions about medication instructions

Tracking of recurring test results

Requests for information

Co-pays and coverage ...

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