Saturday, February 07, 2009

How an EMR changes you and your practice forever.

Forget everything about how you used to do things.  Just let it go!  When you adopt a high-end EMR product, you'll find that business as usual is over, and forever. 
  • Workflow: Old way: front desk staff checks in patients, then doc takes the entire history.  New way: patients can check themselves in and staff takes the majority of the history, such as the PMH, Allergies, Social History etc.  Doc reviews, completes, and cognates.
  • Back-end: Old way: complete charge sheet, give it to back end staff, they enter charges, submit claim.  New way: after the encounter, doc completes the note, signs, and voila, off it goes to the clearinghouse.  Billing staff now freed up to "work" the claims.
  • Scheduling: Old way: patients call, overload phone lines, and staff assists in booking while waiting room fills up.  New way: patients book themselves on-line, enter their own information, doctors phone lines freed up, staff freed up.
  • Precriptions: Old way: scribble, give to patient, often gets lost or handwriting issues, leads to call backs, refills, torture.  New way: click on favorites, click on med, click on pharmacy, click.
  • Coding: Old way: document as much as you can given time and hand-cramping restraints, stay within the bell curve for your specialty, then hope you don't get audited.  new way: predesign your templates with appropriate level of E&M coding, see patient, hit enter, next.
  • Lab and study tracking: Old way: give patients requisitions and hope they go and hope you get lab and hope lab is filed correctly and hope you don't miss anything bad.  New way: select tests from check boxes in template, hit enter, system flags non-compliant patients, all results come to you automatically, electronically, effortlessly, and if you want it, graphically.
  • Practice patterns: Old way: "this is how I do it."  New way: pre-program best practice guidelines from professional organizations into your templates, then all appropriate tests and studies are orderd automatically, effortlessly.
  • Coordination of care: Old way: dictate, wait for transcription, mail.  Call doc, wait on hold, disturb.  New way: select letter template, recipient, hit enter.

The IU.