Ways EMR Technology is Promoting Patient – Doctor Interaction in a Specialized Healthcare Setting[Download full infographic]
Beginning in 2009 with the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), and the incentive-based Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act (HITECH), which alleviated the cost burden on medical practices seeking to implement EMR technology, the push for physicians to implement electronic medical record (EMR) technology was on. Adopting the new technology has had its hiccups, but EMR implementation is now coming around to be seen as a valuable tool in the treatment of patients and the management of physician practices & scheduling.
Choosing the right EMR software is always an incredibly important process for any practice seeking EMR implementation. Specialists have extra considerations when choosing which EMR technology they will implement. Of course, they must consider cost, employee training on the system and the difficulty of the EMR implementation process, in general. Here are some factors you may want to consider for your specialized outpatient care facility.
Defining and Fulfilling Your Specific Documentation Needs
Specialists, by definition, have different needs than do generalists. There are many documentation elements that are captured for specialty care, and more often than not, a standard EMR solution won’t cut it.
Instead, many specialty care clinics seek out highly specialized EMR solutions for their practice. With highly customizable templates tailored to their specific documentation needs, a specialized EMR software ensures that patient information is documented quickly and accurately, missing no important data while freeing up time for doctor-patient communications.
Say, for instance, an urgent care clinic is looking to implement EMR technology. Their documentation template would need to include specialty-related assessments. These are not readily available in a one-size-fits-all system, and can often lead to hiccups in documentation and ever-important care efficiency (especially for urgent care clinics, where time is extremely valuable).
Highly specialized EMRs promote patient care by ensuring that all needed information can be quickly and accurately documented, freeing time for better clinical observations and improved patient outcomes.
Ideal documentation tools included in specialty EMR technology include:
- Ability to customize health history questions targeted to the needs of the specialty
- Capacity to document duplicate information in several forms simultaneously increasing the speed and accuracy of documentation
- Capability to recommend proper tests, medications and other therapies, in support of a physician’s clinical decisions and tailored to the specialist’s specific needs
- Power to automatically schedule regularly require labs, re-checks and other tests
- Means of e-prescribing straight from the documentation or diagnosis forms
- Functionality to compare all prescription drugs for potentially hazardous drug interactions
- The facility to automatically track specialized metrics specific to each particular practice, and alert the team of undesirable findings allowing them to catch trends that could lead to future
- Lab results, with normal values listed in the interface
Other Special EMR Technology Needs Exclusive to Specialized Practices
Every physician has different preferences when it comes to their philosophy of treatment. Ideally, the EMR solution you select should include a system that intuitively remembers physician’s preferred schema of treatment and should be adaptable to those preferences. This facilitates ease-of-use for the physician and staff while translating into higher patient satisfaction.
Any comprehensive EMR technology should include suggestions of preventative measures as related to the specialty, such as, but not limited to:
- Fact sheets for patients, suggesting ways to manage their particular illness, in the context of the issuing specialty
- Suggestions on dietary measures and supplementation that may be beneficial to the patient
- Specialty-targeted information on any physical therapy measures that can be taken to alleviate the patient’s chronic condition
- Patient Portals, which allow the patient to access their health information, order refills, email the physician or staff or even learn more about their condition and ways to manage it more effectively
Automating workflow is a great portion of what EMR technology does. Ideally, it would include patient scheduling software in order to schedule appointments, re-checks, recurring tests and consult requests. An ideal EMR system would receive consult results, flag them for a physician’s review and notify the patient of the results, with easy-to-understand explanations through a patient access point.
Patient portals promote doctor-patient interaction because they put all of the patient’s health information within reach, easily accessible, for the first time.
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