Patients may need patience during changeover.
With the hospital-wide conversion to a new computer system, patients may experience a slightly longer registration process and notice computer entry of medical information and notes taking a little longer. This conversion was dictated by the recent health care reform legislation as a means to improve patient safety and quality of service. It will also improve accessibility of records and data, and enhance efficiency in delivering services. Despite the initial high cost of installation, improved safety and efficiencies will reduce health care costs moving forward.
Three new questions have been added to registrations that ask one’s race, ethnicity, and preferred language. These questions are required for providers to receive full Medicare/Medicaid reimbursement. They are designed to help providers better understand the make-up of their customer base to improve communications and better meet their patients’ needs. They also assist health care studies by looking for trends among races as they relate to different ailments and disease. This information helps doctors know if patients are more at risk for certain disease and if they should be screened sooner than the norm.
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