Workflow for Electronic Medical Records

 

There have been numerous studies on workflow analysis for EMR users.  Physicians understand the value of good workflows in their practice and have honed their routines using paper charts.  A digitized system will inevitably change the way doctor’s document patient visits and new workflow agendas will need to be implemented.  Unfortunately, an analysis rarely takes place before the system is installed.

A practice can start with identifying office inefficiencies and developing a prioritized list of desired workflows.  How is the EMR expected to help the practice?  What are the possible bottlenecks using the new system?  How does the future workflow look when the EMR is operational?  Listing some of the key processes that a practice uses daily is a great way to start.  This will not only help your staff realize the benefits associated with EMR systems but also foster acceptance of the EMR throughout the work environment.

After surveying some time motion studies designed to measure the amount of time spent using an EMR I have concluded that there is still room for design changes that would improve workflow efficiency.  Computer system usability plays a pivotal role in determining the effective use of EMRs.  Proper clinician training was the most frequent example cited as the best way to properly use the system.  When users became familiar with screen layout and interaction structure, there efficiency exceled.

As your staff becomes more familiar with the EMR their efficiency will improve.  In the surveys, most practices said they were bogged down the first 3 to 6 months of moving to a new system. After this period, they reported that they were even more efficient than before.

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

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