Imagine a World Without Electronic Health Records

October 22nd, 2015 /
Vikram Maindan
/ 5 Min Read

Imagine transitioning back to the world of paper charting, an electronic health records re-boot…nobody wants to do it.

Although there are a few medical clinics that have not yet found their first EMR, many physicians have begun shopping for their second or third replacement EMR, still seeking a platform to fit their expectations and needs. Years ago, as practices transitioned from paper charting to the new means of collecting patient documentation – called electronic health records (EHR) – they may have chosen an EHR that seemed to fit the bill based on cost or features and functionality; but now that EHR no longer is keeping up. ICD-10 coding has left many formerly viable EHRs in the waste bin. What’s a practice manager to do? Imagine reverting back to paper.

In the paper trail days, a practice’s current day actually began the day before. The staff had to comb through the racks of paper folders to pull the charts in advance of appointments. Time and efficiency was lost due to hourly labor costs of staff now engaged in pulling charts. The reception desk had a stack of manila folders in anticipation of patients’ arrivals. Patients checked in for their appointment and if the chart was not readily available, a staff member had to scramble throughout the office to find that chart. Remember these wonderful moments? And likely, that chart was not returned to the proper alphabetical order. The traditional paper charting system did not allow for a patient portal, (a means by which the patient can complete all necessary forms electronically prior to visit), and any new patient would be mailed a “New Patient Registration Packet” a few days in advance, which came with a cost of materials, handling and postage. The cost continued to rise by the inefficiency of the paper chase. The front office team would comb through the appointment roster and collect the names for the days chart pull. They would also begin the appointment reminder phone calls. All of which often resulted in a futile attempt to achieve the goal of speaking with the patient and reminding them of the appointment. This was done in an effort to mitigate no shows. Communication – dare I say “interoperability” – between appointments, records and people was not yet even on the event horizon.

And on and on it would go. Today, we can barely remember how a patient felt and the experience they had in medical practice, or how employees felt, and the conflicts that would often arise due to untraceable miscommunications. And still today, the perception of the clinic and medical services provided to the patient is defined by the patient experience.

Your day using the most modern EHR, PrognoCIS, begins with a dashboard list of patients: their names and time of appointment with a reason for visit. These patients are automatically sent SMS, or text reminders, with patient confirmations. The clean color-coded tabs indicate which patients are new patients and will need of more time for a thorough exam as an example. A few mouse clicks and the provider’s day has begun. No charts to pull, no tracking of charts, no handling of charts. In fact, depending on the security authorization level, multiple providers can view the patient’s record simultaneously.

Remember paper prescriptions? Are you still using them? In the modern EHR environment, we may take for granted that the electronic prescription is submitted directly to the pharmacy of the patient’s choice. The prescription is in the queue to be filled even before the patient is walking out of the clinic. Clean and efficient use of technology and time. Go back to handwritten paper prescriptions? “I think not,” says the provider.

Read – How Real-Time Prescription Benefit provides Physician and Patient satisfaction

After a day filled with patient exams, inbound and outbound phone calls, office managers requesting time, you look at your desk to see all of those charts in need of your attention. Back then, the choice was to see fewer patients or you might get home by 10 pm.

The Electronic Health Records industry has been through many different phases in just the past ten years. EHRs have become very mature in 2015 – rich in features to provide quality of life benefits, and designed to make your practice efficient, effective, and more successful.

There are many good EHR products on the market to choose from, but PrognoCIS is an EHR software program written for the ease of customization while maintaining a clean user interface. This user experience is designed to be easy on the eyes. Some of the legacy applications were sold using the highest level of technology at the time. However, technology has advanced and these programs may no longer meet your clinic needs. PrognoCIS is current and advanced. Over ninety percent of medical clinics that installed PrognoCIS is still using it in practice today.

PrognoCIS EHR has been built to fully support your practice. The specialty is meant to fit your specific needs with rich content, viable workflow, and full library templates in place. PrognoCIS can also be tailored to meet your clinic’s needs. Too many EHR programs are designed with little to no customization available. PrognoCIS has received the White Coat award from SureScripts for successfully achieving a high rate of proficiency. While PrognoCIS users submit prescriptions electronically and enjoy all the advances of a paperless workplace, we all benefit from the quality of life benefits you strive to provide your patients. Together, saving trees, and building a future where we can take the time to enjoy friends and family during this holiday season. Whatever your celebration of choice this fall, let’s all give thanks to modern EHRs and a paperless medical workplace!

Author: Chris Ferguson

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