How to use an EHR when you can’t type or click?
Yesterday, I demonstrated enki EHR to one of our billing customers. In passing, I told him that someone else used a transcriptionist on our platform by creating limited-use logins – after listening intently, he told me that might be the perfect idea for everyone like him who disliked operating a computer in front of patients. It made sense. As a senior gastroenterologist, his time is better spent with patient care than with a computer. But that doesn’t mean that they cannot benefit from an EHR – the most powerful benefit from a mobile-based EHR is that he can pull up a patient record even in his car (if he wanted to). It’s accessing patient information at the right time that brings meaning to implementing an EHR.
Here are other ways you could use an EHR without needing to operate a regular computer:
a) Use an iPad/ Android-based EHR where you can tab your way through patient information – if you are comfortable with tabbing.
b) Integrate Dragon Medically Speaking and speak your way into the EHR.
c) In front of patients, use the iPad to access information just as you would use a paper file. Pull up vitals, chief complaints, medication lists, document basic data such physical exam and review of systems. But don’t document the History of Present Illness, Assessment and Plan. Write the final plan on a piece of paper and have your staff complete the final part of the note for you – on their computer. The iPad and computer would sync and keep the medical note current.
d) If you are used to using a transcriptionist – continue doing so. Create a separate login (with limited use) for the transcriptionist so that he/ she could login to the EHR and complete the note for you inside the patient chart.
e) Use a template for repeatable consults and teach your staff to edit key areas of the Note.
f) Use a combination of the above – when needed document (e.g. for complex cases) but for the common ones, continue practicing as you are used to and letting the system, process and staff take care of computer-based documentation.
However, you will need to go through the chart, approve and digitally sign before a Note is complete. Go ahead and start using the EHR – the benefit of giving better care to your patients will outweigh the hurdle of getting started.
By Praveen Suthrum, President & Co-Founder, NextServices