The Role eForms Play in Patient-Generated Healthcare Data (PGHD)


At the ONC Direct Exchange Workshop 2017, ONC chief Donald W. Rucker, MD stated that ONC and CMS are working to try and figure out how to minimize how much time clinicians spend on unneeded data entry and that EHR vendors need to make their software more flexible.

It is no surprise to healthcare leaders that clinicians spend too much time on paperwork (including electronic “paperwork”). A study published in the Annals of Medicine, found that 29 percent of a physician’s total work time was spent talking with patients or other staff members and another 49 percent was spent on electronic record keeping and desk work.

Physicians aren’t the only ones spending too much time in front of a computer screen or filling in (or even searching for) paper forms. This trend is all too common in the nursing profession as well. Many nurses are not positioned to work at the top of their licensure and spend 39 percent of their time on non-value added (NVA) tasks, such as searching for patient forms and reworking documentation.

Healthcare organizations are looking for new ways to eliminate these NVA activities that detract from patient care and diminish the overall effectiveness of healthcare providers. Discovering new ways to capture critical patient data that can then flow to other areas of the patient record can greatly reduce NVA tasks for clinicians.

Patient Generated Health Data (PGHD): Transforming Technology into Opportunity

Most people today have smart devices in their pocket (or even on their wrist), and have used these devices to record and store important information. This includes data relevant to their health. In fact, 62 percent of smartphone users access health information on their phone and feel confident about using their phones for that purpose.

The technology-driven mindset of today’s consumer has shifted the expectations patients have when it comes to providing and receiving healthcare information. This phenomenon is known as patient-generated health data (PGHD), which the US Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) Office of the National Coordinator of Health Information Technology (ONC) defines as “health-related data created, recorded, or gathered by or from patients (or family members or caregivers) to help address a health concern.”

In addition to enabling patients to be more active participants in their healthcare journey, effectively and safely capturing, using, and sharing PGHD has the power to eliminate NVA activities that are currently heavy on the shoulders of clinicians.

Beyond Wearables

While people generally associate PGHD with remote monitoring devices and other wearables, like Fitbits, – electronic healthcare forms and other data collection also fall into this category. By gaining more patient-generated information – such as risk assessments, their preferences, and their personal care goals – clinicians are better prepared to provide care for each individual patient even before they walk through the hospital doors.

For example, PGHD collected via eForm and eChecklists allows health systems to better connect with patients preparing for treatment, or chronic care patients – such as a patient with diabetes, while they are in their home environment. The exchange of PGHD allows patients to better care for themselves, control their condition, and to do preventative measures and self-care techniques that can improve their quality of life. Providers can gain a new level of transparency into their patient’s condition, allowing them to collect relevant information and intervene when needed to deliver optimal care results.

The Problem:

The opportunity to bridge the communication gap between patients and providers beyond the walls of the hospital is one of the most significant advantages of PGHD. However, the ability to have patient data before and after care is not supported by many EHR systems – leaving the job of collecting data up to clinicians and staff during a patient visit.

The Solution:

In response to growing technology trends and the need to securely capture PGHD, FormFast, the leader in eForms technology for hospitals, has created FormFast Connect.

With FormFast Connect, PGHD collected on eForms patients fill out at their homes is instantly added to the electronic health record (EHR) and visible to the care team. Capturing data that will flow to other areas of the patient record will greatly reduce NVA tasks for clinicians, while promoting patient engagement. This allows clinicians to spend more time at top of license – taking care of their patients, and provides healthcare systems with a greater value for their clinician’s time and salary dollars.

With FormFast Connect, clinicians can review care checklists and completed patient forms – anywhere, from a mobile device. The automation of PGHD collection helps to prevent appointment and surgery cancellations or delays related to poor preparation or incomplete or inaccurate documentation. The ability to quickly and easily access information when and where they need it, allows clinicians to make the most of their valuable time by spending less time collecting, analyzing, and searching for patient information.

Benefits of FormFast Connect

  • Save clinicians time by allowing patients to fill out information prior to their healthcare event.
  • Allow users to provide longitudinal data, not just one time look during a single encounter.
  • Track critical information that will allow clinicians to reach out to patient between visits. This intervention can lead to a reduction in ER visits or miscommunication in care transition activities
  • Contribute to shorter patient wait times by allowing staff to receive completed patient information in the pre-registration phase.
  • Patients can complete and review forms, checklists and educational materials at a time suitable for them and in an environment in which they feel comfortable. This can help patients better understand their care plans, due to factors such as:
    • Patients absorb little of what is told to them in an office visit – 40-80% is forgotten immediately.
    • Medical conditions and anxiety can alter a patient’s ability to recall medical information while in the clinical setting.
    • Patients can provide more accurate information (such as family history and current medication usage) if they have the opportunity and time needed to review information with family members or caretakers.

Save Clinicians Time and Spark Patient Engagement with FormFast Connect  

Let your trained healthcare professionals spend their valuable time focusing on the reason they got into the medical field in the first place: to deliver the highest quality of care to patients – not their paperwork.

FormFast Connect can help your organization gain a greater value for your staff’s dollars, reduce errors, increase safety, and ultimately, deliver a higher quality of patient care. Contact us today to learn more!