Monday, August 25, 2008

The DIY EMR: Revisiting an earlier post.

This post was previously published by The IU, but due to recent contacts from readers, I thought I re-post it.

Here are some features of MS Word 2007 that make it so attractive for a homegrown EMR:
  • Insert signature line: once inserted, you can sign it with the stylus. The program then locks the document to prevent any changes.
  • Built in PDR conversion tool: No need to buy acrobat. PDF is a great format for an EMR for a variety of reasons.
  • Insert inbedded files: The user can easily insert inbedded files, like bitmaps, with things such as illustrations, photos, notes, etc.
  • Change tracking: This feature is also on older Word versions. Allows the user to make changes with cross-outs, rather than erases. Makes for good transparency, ie spoliation accusation resistant.
  • Can easily create templates and record macros.
  • Phrase finishing: user can train program to complete phrases and sentences. Useful when documenting encounters quickly.
  • User friendly: very little training required.
  • Ubiquitous: Is pre-installed on most computers, and is compatatble with google documents and MAC OS.
  • Inexpensive.

In other words, it is an excellent tool for the homegrown EMR. AND, from what I've seen from many vendor sold EMR's, the basic platform that they use in their products. Kevin's right: why pay so much more?