Doctors Finding EHR Changeover Laborious and Inefficient
Doctors Finding EHR Changeover
Laborious and Inefficient
The conversion of paper documents into Electronic Health Records (EHRs) or
Electronic Medical Records (EMRs) picked up pace when the Affordable Care Act
(ACA) started allowing Medicare and Medicaid incentives for meaningful use of EHRs.
With EHR, wherever the patient goes, physicians can access the information they
need to treat the patient. Though it is really helpful for data collection, many
physicians find it a cumbersome task to enter data into the EHR. According to a
study conducted by the RAND Corporation, a California research group, electronic
conversion is a stress factor contributing to physician professional satisfaction.
Doctors often enter data when the patient is sitting in front of them and this result in
the patients not receiving the attention they expect. Dr. Daniel Heinemann, president
of the South Dakota State Medical Association says that they have got complaints
from patients about less eye contact during office visits as doctors turned away while
typing on their keyboard. It seems that the relevance of medical transcription is
increasing in this context. Let’s see how.
Difficulties Caused by EHR
Though it is possible to access patient healthcare information wherever they
go using the EHR system implemented in each healthcare system they visit,
none of the systems communicate with each other and this is really trying for
doctors. There is also the problem of lack of portability when a patient with a
doctor in one system requires help from another.
As per the South Dakota State Medical Association, the electronic systems
hinder face-to-face conversation and doctors would need to spend more time
for clerical work if they want to avoid this. Moreover, the accuracy of medical
records is reduced due to template-generated notes. The entire clinical
narrative cannot be captured using checkboxes or templates alone and the
doctors lose a lot of time by clicking boxes. Since there is no third party to
check the content (as the doctors themselves edit the observations), there is
no scope for quality checks.
As it is time-consuming for doctors to fill out templates, the number of
patients seen in a day gets reduced. If the physician tries to fit in more
patients in his schedule, it will reduce the time spent with each patient which
in turn will reduce the quality of care. It is estimated that if doctors who
struggle with electronic records can see around 10 patients a day then others
can see around 40 patients on the same day. Some experts say that most
physicians who have implemented EHR system saw a drop of 10 to 20 percent
in patient volume in the first month or two. If you have a clinic that is not
efficient and set out to implement an EHR system, it may prove to be an
unwise move. The clinic is already in bad condition; you end up spending a lot
of money and may not be able to increase productivity quickly with HER.
Some experts recommend advanced dictation and speech recognition systems to
solve these issues while some others recommend implementing new design for
patient exam room so that it would place the doctor, patient and computer screen in
a triangle and the doctor could see both the screen and the patient and type without
losing eye contact.
How Medical Transcription and EHR Is a Better Combination
Combining EHR and transcription is better as it will improve the quality and ensure
Medicare and Medicaid incentives. In this system, the physician dictates via phone or
handheld devices, the digital voice files are securely captured, encrypted and stored
on servers by the medical transcription company, clinical documents are
transcribed from the recordings, quality checking is performed, documentation is
integrated directly to the EHR so that it will available to clinician and HIM staff.
Dictation is a faster and easier clinical documentation option and if digital recorders
are used, it will generate quality digital recordings which are easier for
transcriptionists to transcribe. Moreover, this will shift the responsibility of clinical
documentation from physicians to documentation specialists. In this way, physicians
can reduce the time spent for entering data into EHR, see more patients in a day,
and extend the time with patients so that it will improve productivity and quality
Medical transcription supports narrative-based open-ended dialogue rather than
stumble upon restrictive questions with electronic templates. Clinical narrative is the
first person view of a patient visit and is important when it comes to making a
correct diagnosis and determining best treatment. Transcription provides a smooth
and significant option enabling the capture of full patient story including medical
history, allergies, current medical status and other relevant details.
In essence, the use of dictation and transcription with an EHR can ensure time
efficiency, better quality care, enhanced security (as the documents are encrypted)
and help generate more comprehensive medical records so that the probability of
negative medical effects can be reduced a lot.
About The Author
MTS Transcription Services (MTS) is an established medical transcription
outsourcing company in the US, offering comprehensive transcription solutions for
a wide range of clientele. Our medical transcription services are secure and available
8596 E. 101st Street, Suite H
Tulsa, OK 74133
Main: (800) 670 2809
Fax: (877) 835-5442