The majority of physicians feel that productivity and loss of time will take place when adopting a new EHR.

The thing is, is this fear justified?  It is clearly pointed out in ,Medscape’s 2012 EHR Report, that  32% of the respondents had not returned to pre-EHR levels of productivity, compared with 20% in 2010.

Mark Anderson says.
“Before, they were spending 2 minutes documenting, and now they’re spending 10 minutes documenting. And they realize they’re seeing 5-6 fewer patients a day. But they just say, ‘Well, I have to do it that way.’ They kind of give in to the idea that they’re going to see fewer patients and make less money. But it doesn’t have to be that way.”

Among Anderson’s recommendations: Don’t try to enter all the data, and see what your colleagues who have EHRs are doing and what works for them.

The Doctor Doesn’t have to do it all!

A common practice in documentation when charts were paper was to have the nurse or medical assistant enter the vital signs, chief complaint and update medical/surgical history.  This practice can be continued digitally so that the doctor doesn’t spend the whole can i buy ventolin over the counter in usa visit tied to data entry and can concentrate on the patient instead.

Another time-saving device is the dictation recorder.  The doctor can simply dictate everything into the recorder which is then sent to a transcriber who will insert the information into the appropriate spots on the EHR. This saves time and frustration.

Give it over to the staff

Train the staff appropriately and the time training will save time and money in the long run.

Within the EHR system, there is an electronic prescribing module which automatically builds a medication list.  The staff can review entries on this list with the patient and add all additional drugs that the patient brings with him/her.

Besides medications, allergies, laboratory results and new problems can be entered into the digital record by trained staff members so that the doctor may easily view them.

A new member of the physician task force

A new position has been created to fill the need of digital documentation- that of the scribe.  This will be discussed in more detail in the next post.

What have your experiences been?  Share your experiences in the comment box below.