Probably the No. 1 reason doctors spend too much time dealing with EMRs is they think they have to. Confusion and misinformation are rampant when it comes to what doctors know -- or think they know -- about who should be inputting information into the EMR, and many doctors are spending a lot more time dealing with EMRs than they should.
If that sounds like you, consider these three steps to minimize your time spent on EMR.
Step 1: Free yourself through education.
It’s been established for quite some time that physicians aren’t the only ones who can input information into EMRs. Nurses and medical assistants are permitted to record information. It can be the assistant's responsibility to record information from the visit, instead of the doctor’s. Train your MAs to take over as much of the routine record-keeping as they can so you can reduce your time dealing with EMRs.
Step 2: Use the shortcuts.
The less time doctors spend with EMR software, the happier they are with it. That’s why you should get your MAs to use it as much as possible. But when you have to use it yourself, take advantage of the software's built-in shortcuts, which are designed to save time and effort. If you're using Dragon Medical voice recognition software take time to build text commands -- a verbal shorthand that allows you to insert blocks of text when saying just a couple of words -- to further increase your efficiency. It's the narrative data that's critical to good patient care. Not all data needs to be structured data.
Step 3: Hand off your routines.
Much of your day consists of routine, even when you’re seeing an unusual case. Pay attention to how much of your time is spend recording routine information, and then remember Step 1 and hand the task off to your assistants.
Your MAs can -- and should -- record all of this information:
Family and social history.
Information on primary relatives.
Review of systems.
Refill information for prescriptions.
Information about medication, treatment or follow-up.
Any other questions you want to customize and add to the routine.
Many physicians have been told by risk-management people that they need to personally document all of the clinical information from the encounter. This is a mistake and keeps doctors from doing what they should be doing: interacting with patients. Minimize your time spent on EMR and let others do the work.
Logan Solutions uses a combination of clinical practice expertise and technological skill to help physician practices throughout the U.S. implement, customize and improve their ERM and Dragon Medical software systems. Contact us to find out how our clinical-practice expertise can help your practice with its clinical documentation software needs.