Wednesday, August 15, 2007

EMR: The Essential Features

I'm in the market for an EMR system. I have one, a home-grown system, that actually is pretty good and efficient, but lacks some features that I believe are essential. Here are features that I look for in an EMR:

  • Unalterable: Records must be unalterable once written and the system should not have any "back-doors" that allow alteration of a record. While mine does not do this automatically, it does do it. I just had to develop easy method to make the records final and unalterable, a feature that I consider absolutely essential.

  • Amendable: Entries must be amendable, but the date and time of the correction and the amending person must be noted amd time stamped. In addition, the original entry must be visible for all to see. Mine does this too, but again, I had to come up with my own home-grown solution.

  • Efficient: One time data entry, and seemless transfer of information from the PM program to the EMR to the lab ordering system, letter generation system and result reporting system. If you have to enter the same piece of data more than once, the program is no good. My system fails in this regard.

  • Intuitive: If someone with a no more than a basic knowledge of windows and MS-Office need extensive training to use the system, it is too complex and not worth it. Reconsider. My system scores high in this feature.
  • Affordable: I'm not saying cheap, but if you have to see 1000 extra-patients a year just to support the EMR, it is not worth it. My system socres off the charts on this feature.


The IU.