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What to Look for in an Electronic Medical Records/Electronic Health Records solution

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Electronic Medical Records/Electronic Health Records Software is used to allow health care providers to replace paper patient charts. An effective EMR/EHR solution must provide secure health records …

Electronic Medical Records/Electronic Health Records Software is used to allow health care providers to replace paper patient charts. An effective EMR/EHR solution must provide secure health records storage, facilitate easy entry and interfacing of a variety of information types such as lab results, physicians' notes, and patient e-mails, and manage the flow of the information through the office and to outside providers as it is needed.

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  • 1. Memorial Hospital Quarterly Meeting – What to look for in an EMR Tips used at Dr. John Dormois’ Practice
  • 2. What matters most in an EMR
    • It must improve your efficiency:
      • Don’t become a data entry person!
    • You should be able to access your charts from anywhere w/o downloading software.
    • Outside information from Pharmacies, Labs, Hospital and other sources should drop into your EMR.
    • Communicating patient information in your practice and to other providers should be simple and fast.
    • It should shift the focus of control back to you and your patients.
  • 3. Improving Your Efficiency
    • Beware of the drop down box!
      • If you are required to document your encounter with drop down boxes you may be clicking ~100 times per note.
    • Look for systems that can:
      • Import your existing transcribed notes into the EMR.
      • Build your templates within minutes not weeks.
      • Recycle the parts that you want from your previous encounter notes.
      • Utilize the patient to enter the subjective portion of the encounter information.
  • 4. Anytime, Anywhere Access
    • Look for a web-based platform:
      • Caution! Beware of the ASP (Application Service Provider). You will want to keep your data onsite.
    • Avoid systems that require you to download software on every remote PC.
  • 5. Outside Information Connectivity
    • Standard functions to look for:
      • Pharmacy Prescription interface
      • Major Lab interfaces
      • Automated incoming & outgoing faxing
        • Make sure you can combine any EMR information for outgoing faxes – some systems can only send static chunks of info.
      • Scanning to the EMR
      • Any external electronic file should be able to be viewed from the EMR. (Ex: Radiology Images, Reports, In-patient Notes)
    • NOTE: Look for systems that bundle these features in the base cost versus add-on costs!
  • 6. Communicating Patient Information
    • You should be able to send any document to other staff members or to your patients.
    • The system should re-assign documents if a provider is out of the office.
    • More advanced systems allow:
      • Communication with other practices using the same system.
      • Method for patient to share record with other providers.
      • Viewing capability to approved providers (eg. Hospital).
  • 7. Reconnect Providers & Patients
    • Take advantage of systems that are integrated with a Patient Portal
    • You will be able to:
      • Get messages in the patient’s own words.
      • Avoid phone tag.
      • Send normal labs electronically; avoiding phone call.
      • Reduce calls to the office and staff levels.
    • Patients will be able to enter the subjective findings which will auto-populate your note:
      • Note: Make sure your note is in prose and not in computer language!
  • 8. Billing System Integration
    • Make sure the EMR can:
      • Interface with your billing system,
      • Interface with your billing service’s system, or
      • Has it’s own billing system.
  • 9. Future/Bonus Functions
    • Integrated Clinical Decision Making Tools will be helpful, especially for P4P.
    • Insurance pre-certification when patients schedule appointment online.
    • Online bill payment for patients.
  • 10. Results at Dormois, LLP
    • Over 10,000 existing notes from MSWord imported into the EMR – operational w/ EMR on day 1.
    • Paperless environment w/ rapid access to all patient eCharts.
    • Gained 1 hour per day while seeing the same number of patients .
    • Time savings from EMR has resulted in increased revenues with the same number of hours worked.

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