Let’s get this clear, implementing EMR in your practice changes your workflow significantly. I have always been a huge supporter of the EMR technology and yes it does improve your practice productivity; but however significant the gain may be, the key beneficiary will always be the end consumer – the patient.
All medical technology breakthroughs; be it an advanced CT scanner, sophisticated medical tools or just a mobile application that measures pulse, ensure nothing but improved care delivery. Information is vital in medicine and thus most of the developments in medical science seek to empower physicians through quality information, simplifying decision making and improving care.
The EMR assists physicians in a similar fashion. With built-in interaction checks and reduced clinical errors, physicians are able to deliver the highest quality care backed by quality information. However, EMR adds new dynamics to clinical workflow. Most providers are still in the process of getting used to creating notes in an electronic template instead of a notepad, which leads to patients feeling left out as an engrossed physician types on his computer, facing a screen instead of the patient.
However, many physicians have now found a way to work around this. Pre-configured notes pull all the relevant clinical information of each patient helping the doctor spend less time inputting this information again and utilize this time to interact with their patients. Dictation is another popular way of documenting clinical encounters, with many EMR vendors providing transcription services. The providers can simply speak record and have their notes transcribed in reportable format.
Most physicians can manage an interaction better after some time of usage. However an EMR does change the way you work and it is bound to reflect across your workplace, your demeanor and your personal interaction with the patient. In a few years, EMR may end up influencing new norms of behavior and professional conduct. Many physicians have already started educating their patients on the benefits of such systems and how this would inevitably reduce clinical errors to enhance the quality of care. After all, patients are the direct beneficiaries of your EMR investment.