Last week I spoke with a doctor who runs a large pulmonary practice. Our conversation centered on EMR technology. He was frustrated because he did not like the applications on the system he chose and was not able to see as many patients per day. He also has a research facility that incorporates the EMR but they are also having difficulty using the new system. He assured me that he spent many hours researching EMRs and the one he chose was be the best one for his practice. It might just be buyers remorse, but my take is that it runs deeper.
His issues are not uncommon. Doctors who have used paper charts throughout their entire career are now being asked to adhere to a completely different workflow and technique in their documentation. Even though the doctor I spoke with has extensive technical and computer knowledge, he still is finding it difficult to find peace with the new technology.
There are undesirable components to any new software whether it is a common word processing program or EMR. The solutions will take time especially with medical software, but there has to be a starting point. A software designer, programmer or computer scientist must be able to produce applications that are based on sound, scientifically validated theory and on top of that make sure that, in a medical setting, it is safe and effective.
We will see much more innovation come down the pike just as we have seen in other industries. We will have to accept all the warts of these systems and accept that life will go on regardless. If you consider all the innovation that has been developed in mHeatlh (mobile health) over just the last few years, then with some time will come better and simpler ways to build an efficient EMR.
Iron Comet Consulting is a Mckesson Platinum certified reseller, medical IT firm and medical billing service based in Stockbridge, Georgia. Our products combine the clinical with the financial to improve workflow and revenue capture. Mckesson’s Medisoft Clinical EMR is a complete physician practice optimization solution. For more information, please visit ironcomet.com