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Unlocking the Power of EHRs: Enhancing Student Education and Empowerment

July 12, 2023
Powerful EHR at your fingertips

Electronic health records (EHRs) are essential for keeping health and counseling clinics organized and for promoting efficiency among providers and staff members. Patient Portals in particular are a key tool to help enhance the student experience. At first thought, many may think that EHRs solely enhance clinical workflow and efficiency, but an exceptional EHR system can benefit both providers and their patients.

The EHR you choose plays an important role in patients’ overall experience and satisfaction when visiting a healthcare clinic or counseling center. even states that “patients are more likely to play a better role in managing their health when they are better educated, have access to important resources, and are given a convenient way to book appointments and see their doctor.” This emphasizes the impact that EHRs can make in enhancing patient care and promoting patient education.


EHRs can help promote patient education by giving patients the freedom to easily access their health information and any associated educational resources online. When patients have virtual access to this information, it’s much more convenient for them to engage with their health anytime, anywhere.  Of course, information is given to patients during their appointment verbally, but many times, patients may not remember everything that was said to them during the appointment, or they may want to share the information with others. This allows patients to thoroughly review the information, and make sure they didn’t miss anything during the appointment. The goal here is to ensure that students feel empowered to engage in their own health, which can help reduce anxiety levels, increase adherence to medication, improve relationships with providers, and improve health outcomes.

Secure Messaging

Using your EHR system, you likely have the option to securely message students to further boost patient education. With secure messaging, patients and providers are able to communicate with each other in a safe, confidential manner. According to, The HIPAA Journal, secure messaging has been shown to “accelerate clinical workflows and help accelerate patient throughput, reduce the potential for medical errors, increase patient satisfaction, improve clinical outcomes, and significantly reduce costs while ensuring compliance with HIPAA.”

Rather than playing phone tag or having to wait until their next appointment, with secure messaging, patients can communicate with the clinic staff and ask questions as they arise. This significantly increases patient satisfaction, as patients get their questions answered much more quickly and responses are tailored to them and their health history, as opposed to doing a quick online search to find an answer. Patients may even feel more comfortable disclosing information via a secure messaging portal rather than face-to-face with their provider, resulting in more thorough patient care. Patients may also choose to provide health information to their providers through secure messaging. For example, students may be able to take their own blood pressure or glucose level readings, so that their provider can easily provide additional care.

Digital Documents and Resources

Providers are also able to attach or upload digital documents into their EHR system for patients to view. Following an appointment, providers can attach any relevant educational documents and discharge paperwork. This will help give patients more detailed information on what was discussed during the appointment and gives patients the autonomy to do their own further research. Digital paperwork can also result in a less cluttered workspace and reduces the amount of time staff has to spend on printing, organizing, and filling out paperwork.

Optimizing Outreach Events

Along with informational resources and medical documents, clinic staff may also want to promote upcoming events. For instance, student health centers may want to promote their upcoming flu clinic, and counseling centers may want to notify students of a meditation workshop during finals week. This helps students take advantage of the programming clinics work so hard to organize.  The options for boosting patient education with an EHR system are endless.

Key Takeaways

EHRs do more than just help with clinic productivity and efficiency, they also help promote patient education. An effective EHR system allows patients to easily access their health records, communicate with clinic staff, receive valuable resources, and attend helpful events. Rather than having to worry about patients forgetting what was stated during an appointment, EHRs can do all the work for clinic staff while also giving patients the tools they need to further their knowledge to reach their health and wellness goals.

Curious about the impact an EHR can have on your campus? Check out how Abilene Christian University improved the student experience using automated messages, simple check-in forms, and text reminders.