Friday, 01 January 2016

Why Most Providers Don't Like EHRs

Can't remember all the ingredients for those chocolate chip cookies? Google the recipe on your smartphone. Looking for a cab? There’s an app for that. Want to keep track of all your contacts?ClinicTracker EHR Loved by Clinicians No problem. We’ve all become adept at increasing our productivity by computerizing just about everything.

For the most part, people are happy with how computers have simplified our business and personal lives. An exception, however, may well be healthcare providers. They’re not all thrilled with electronic health records (EHRs).

A 2013 RAND survey sponsored by the American Medical Association (AMA) found physicians, administrators, and staff approved of EHRs in concept and appreciated the potential of EHRs to improve patient care and professional satisfaction. But many physicians said EHRs decreased professional satisfaction. They cited poor EHR usability, time-consuming data entry, inefficient and less fulfilling work content, inability to exchange health information between EHR products (interoperability), degradation of clinical documentation, needless alerts, and poor work flows.

Even though electronic entry of medical information was supposed to eliminate prescribing errors due to poor handwriting, the problem nonetheless persists. Although prescribing errors have declined with the widespread use of EHRs, a recent study of more than one million medication errors reported to a national database between 2003 and 2010 found that 6 percent were related to the computerized prescribing system.

Whopping errors and maddening changes in work flow have even led some physicians to argue that we should exhume our three-ring binders and return to a world of pen and paper,” Robert M. Wachter, author of “The Digital Doctor: Hope, Hype, and Harm at the Dawn of Medicine's Computer Age,” wrote in the New York Times.

“This argument is utterly unpersuasive,” he continued. “We will never make fundamental improvements in our system without the thoughtful use of technology. Even today, despite the problems, the evidence shows that care is better and safer with computers than without them.”

In response to physicians’ concerns, the AMA in 2014 called on vendors and government agencies to create EHR systems that prioritize efficiency and accuracy. EHRs should promote coordination, enable physicians to delegate to other healthcare providers, and facilitate interactions using patients’ mobile devices, the AMA said.

Over the past 15 years, ClinicTracker has managed to steer clear of the many pitfalls providers have encountered with other EHRs. How? By designing the system based on constant input from hundreds of clinicians and administrators. If a provider identifies a way the software can make life easier, that suggestion becomes part of ClinicTracker in very short order (usually less than two weeks). ClinicTracker also makes data entry less time consuming through intuitive functions that include dropdowns, checkboxes, search features, and data loading.

And the system isn’t just a collection of features. It lets you establish workflows that guide the user along the steps necessary to complete a task quickly and accurately. The program can even enforce quality control because it lets administrators establish required fields and a host of data integrity constraints To avoid needless alerts or alert fatigue, users can customize rules for when alerts display. ClinicTracker helps physicians avoid medication errors through alerts regarding drug-drug and drug-allergy interactions displayed at the point of prescribing. The savings in time for training, completing documentation, and compliance checking are extraordinary.

ClinicTracker supports C-CDA import and export of client records; interoperability is not a problem. Clients can also access information through the web-based Patient Portal.

Because ClinicTracker is clinician-built, you know that it will always make the administrative aspects of work life as easy as possible. That’s been our mission from day one – to make your day about helping patients, not wasting time struggling with an EHR.

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