Data-collection tools for healthcare organizations
- athenahealth’s electronic health records (EHR)
- Jotform’s HIPAA-compliant online forms
- Remote monitoring devices
- Zoho’s customer relationship management system
- Data management solutions
In 1851, Dr. Carl Reinhold August Wunderlich was trying to determine what the average temperature of the human body was. But that wasn’t an easy task. To do it, he ended up taking the temperature of at least 25,000 patients multiple times a day, and he discovered that most people have an average body temperature of 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit.
With only the most basic data-collection tools — like a pencil and paper — Dr. Wunderlich had to spend countless hours collecting and analyzing this information. Thankfully, doctors and researchers now have a variety of data-collection tools available to make their jobs easier. Let’s look at the basic tools you can use to gather healthcare data.
1. athenahealth’s electronic health records (EHR)
Electronic health records, or EHRs, have become an integral part of healthcare institutions. EHR systems like athenahealth’s help collect all your patient information in one spot so you have easy access when you need to reference it.
This reduces the time you and your staff spend documenting patient visits and increases the accuracy of your records. And by using a HIPAA-compliant EHR like athenahealth’s, you can keep your patient data confidential and prevent legal problems.
Plus, some systems can run your data through a predictive analytics program. Analytics can help you keep a patient on track by sending out alerts and reminders when a patient needs to come back for a procedure or booster shot.
While EHR systems are useful in a medical facility, an online form can gather patient information from anywhere.
2. Jotform’s HIPAA-compliant online forms
Online forms are a quick way to gather and store patient information. They also offer more flexibility, allowing you to send forms to patients before their appointments to save time. You can use pre-made templates to make your setup easier.
By choosing a HIPAA-compliant online form company, you can keep your patients’ personal health information safe from data breaches. HIPAA-compliant offerings like Jotform offer a safe way to collect protected health information (PHI).
Forms are an easy way to get basic healthcare data, but if you need a continuous way to gather more specific data, you’ll need to invest in remote monitoring devices.
3. Remote monitoring devices
It can be hard to monitor your patients when they aren’t in the hospital. That’s where wearable tech comes in. Wearable devices that monitor vital signs, patches that take blood sugar levels, and remote diagnostic devices are all important data collectors. Many of these tools connect with a mobile device, so the patient can send their results to their provider and have them added to the EHR.
Helping your patients use a remote monitoring device enables you to collect the data you need to treat your patients.
So far, we’ve mostly focused on healthcare-specific tools. However, other types of tools, such as CRM systems, can be useful in healthcare settings as well.
4. Zoho’s customer relationship management system
Businesses and nonprofits often use customer relationship management (CRM) systems to tailor their marketing efforts and improve their relationships with specific customers. Your healthcare institution can benefit from using one as well.
CRM systems like Zoho can help you store information from each part of your healthcare organization, determine what your patients need, and keep track of every interaction you’ve had with them.
CRM software also allows you to personalize the messaging and offers you send to each patient. This improves the quality of your patient relationships and makes it easier to market your services. By using HIPAA-compliant CRMs, you can store protected health information securely while allowing relevant personnel to access it.
Once you’ve stored all that data, you’ll have to sort it. That’s where data management solutions can help.
5. Data management solutions
Data management solutions are one way to sort large volumes of patient data. Solutions such as Change Healthcare can do data migrations that filter through data and transfer the most recent and relevant information to your systems. These types of data management systems can also handle a variety of medical files and media.
Data collection is essential for healthcare organizations, but so is protecting that data. HIPAA-compliant management systems can ensure that stored data moves securely to the right computer.
Use the right tools for the job
By using the right tools, you’ll be able to easily gather data and securely store it.
In 1851, there weren’t a lot of data-collection tools available to Dr. Wunderlich. Now, doctors and researchers have an abundance of tools to help them gather data. Tools like EHR systems, online health forms, and remote monitoring devices help health professionals collect patient information efficiently so they can focus on assisting their patients.
At Jotform, we offer the online forms you need to keep healthcare data safe. Our HIPAA-compliant forms allow your organization to gather important information and store it securely. Check out our forms today.