Guest post by Scott Parker, Cure MD.
Like the adaption and implementation of every new and innovative technology, it takes time to get used to it. Therefore, with electronic health records, being ready for change is key.
Previously, physicians were comfortable with a paper-based system because its usage had been a norm since and before they started studying medicine. The way they had to learn and adopt to a working environment when they started practicing, they will have to do the same with innovative technologies such as EHRs, built to make their lives easier.
In the initial stages, EHR documentation is likely to be cumbersome as physicians familiarize themselves with the new system.
What most physicians have a problem with is standardized data entry. As most EHRs can be customized to suit user preferences, physicians tend to associate electronic medical documentation with administrative and clerical workload. They tend to believe that the job of a data entry administrator is being passed on to them.
With regular use, familiarization and training, physicians have been able to improve documentation time. Practices also have been able to optimize administrative workflows and operations through continuous assessment and planning.
Patient portals let patients update basic clinical, administrative and financial information without leaving their home or visiting the doctor’s office. This saves valuable time and enhances productivity whilst minimizing the possibility of human error.
Generally, the popular opinion states that EHR software systems with voice recognition speed up the process of clinical documentation for physicians while an optional transcription service makes the process seamless. However, physicians often describe them as costly and inefficient.
The fact is, denial is not an option, nor a solution. Like every change, physicians have to take their time and learn to get used to innovative technologies such as electronic health records and hope to join the race when the usage of such systems is no longer a choice.
However, physicians already embarking on this journey will be accustomed to improved clinical outcomes and care quality through the use of EHRs. For those who clearly see the benefits of using these technologies, other will follow suit.