Making EHR Easier

A recent survey of physicians found that 85% of those that disliked their EHR were spending more time documenting visits and 66% are seeing fewer patients.

If it is taking you longer to document then either you are documenting information in the EHR that you were not documenting before and/or the same documentation is taking you longer in the EHR.

Clearly the EHR you select can have an impact on this. However, other factors may affect your time as well. What are some things you can do to speed up EHR documentation?

Delegation: Are you as a provider trying to do too much in the EHR? I often see providers who let nurses and other staff document in the paper world but when they switch to EHR they think they have to complete all the documentation in their EHR themselves. EHR does not require the provider to do the actual documentation – they only need to sign the chart. Other staff may be faster and they are certainly less expensive.

Paper forms and duplicate work: Are you still capturing information on paper and then entering/adding to your EHR? Some practices continue to do things on paper because they always have – not because they need to. Find ways to get rid of the paper altogether and also consider “interviewing” your patient on items like History and let them see you put it in the EHR. This involves the patient in the documentation process and could lead them to discuss things they need to talk with you about.

Available EHR Tools: Does your EHR include templates or other tools to speed up charting of typical or common findings? Some tools to look for include:

  • Favorite prescriptions – to quickly use the strength and sig you typically prescribe
  • Last/Bring forward – is there a way to bring forward portions of the note from the patient’s last visit and then update them?
  • Templates – are templates available or can they be built to document typical findings for your most common visits? Templates could allow you to quickly document the typical findings and then allow you to make changes and additions.

C Huddle – VP, Market Development