Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Melissa Young, MD: My EMR - I'm getting excited again

I won’t kid you. Using an EMR — even one chosen after hours of research, demos, and site visits — isn’t easy. I still get periodic connection problems and these funky little messages telling me I’ve had an “access violation.” There are still patients who come in with stories or complaints that just don’t fit any pre-made templates (even those made by me), whose history I have to type in manually.

But a few things have happened in the last few weeks that have me all excited over it again.
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First of all, patients are starting to come in for follow-up visits. And with one click (OK, a couple of clicks), I can copy their last visit, and instantly have their HPI, ROS, and exam on the screen. Sure, I have to add new complaints and delete findings that are no longer present, but since my patients tend to complain of the same things every visit, and unless there’s a new issue, their exams are generally the same, I can document the visit with a couple of clicks.

Second, I got a new paper tray for my printer, so now I can print prescriptions instead of writing them out. The patient’s name, address, and date of birth are printed on every one. And if it’s a refill, just click on amount and number of refills and, voila! a perfectly legible prescription — which, by the way, eliminates the calls from the pharmacies because (surprise!) they can’t read my handwriting.

Third, the second point may soon become a moot point, because now I can e-prescribe. With the same number of clicks on the screen, I can electronically send patients’ prescriptions directly to their pharmacies. It (so far) seems more reliable than faxing. And it saves me the expense of both prescription paper and toner. And maybe, just maybe, I’ll get a little stimulus money in the deal.

Yes, I had a connection problem bright and early this morning. But it resolved itself after a minute or two, and by the end of the visit I had e-prescribed two prescriptions, printed a lab slip, and created a consult letter that was faxed to the referring provider. Yeah, I’m all atwitter with excitement.

Melissa G. Young, MD, FACE, FACP, is an endocrinologist in private practice, an assistant clinical professor at Robert Wood Johnson, and a working suburban mother of two in Freehold, N.J. She is a regular contributor to Practice Notes.

1 comment:

  1. It's good to have all your information of EMR...