In the healthcare industry the physician-patient relationship relies heavily on communication. This is why many hospitals and clinics strive to improve their patient-physician interaction and communication by implementing secure messaging tools. This allows patients to get in touch with their doctors quickly and efficiently, without the risk of any privacy breaches. Although patient portals are the most common form of communication, mobile health tools can also allow patients to effectively meet their healthcare needs. It can also help physicians better manage their patients’ health and well-being.

Many healthcare providers rely heavily on patient portals to increase patient engagement and allow for easier access to their healthcare records. Hospitals and clinics are also concerned whether the implementation of Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs will restrict the patient’s ability to access their health care information. EHRIntelligence reports that patient portals are not the only path to ensuring that patients are able to access their health data.

It would be beneficial for physicians and healthcare providers to better understand the needs of their consumer base and meet their needs accordingly. Specifically, understanding their patients’ preferences when it comes to how they wish to access their health care information and their use of technology, will improve patient care and engagement.

“If they are using the portal, they are doing so on a mobile device. So why not develop software that is much more user-friendly, more integrated into the end-user? And rather than giving the end-user just access to a portal, why not make it so that it is procedure- or process-based? I want to schedule an appointment, press that. I want to get my lab results, press that. That is more intuitive for a patient than having to go into a portal and siphon through mounds of information or navigation whereas on a handheld I can just press what I want and immediately get that information.”, said Ed Martinez, Senior Vice President and CIO of Miami Children’s Hospital.

This new system is more interactive for the user and provides them with better control of their information. It can also help close the gap between urban and rural healthcare providers in terms of telemedicine and heath care data management. There is a wide array of mobile health care apps designed with telemedicine as the main concept, including EHR systems, mobile apps, wearable devices, and remote monitoring. This allows for the patient to be extremely satisfied with the care they are provided and more involved in their healthcare services. One of the goals of telemedicine is to effectively aid in the care of patients with chronic conditions and provide daily support in managing their illnesses.