We have all heard the adage, “A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words,” and for today’s blog I decided to research this common-sense proverb. Is it a famous quote, who first said it, and why? The history of this axiom is murky, but there are those who attribute the essence of this wise saying to Napoleon. Napoleon has been quoted as stating, “Un bon croquis vaut mieux qu’un long discours,” or, “A good sketch is better than a long speech”. I explained to my kids that my research had led me to believe that Napoleon could indeed be the inspiration for this maxim. They quickly responded that Napoleon was most famous for saying, “Do chickens have large talons?”
The cultural divide is getting deeper; I of course meant the Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte, and they were referring to the more infamous Napoleon Dynamite. Whether it was Napoleon Bonaparte or another, it is widely accepted that the phrase is meant to convey the concept that, a complex idea can be conveyed with just a single image.
For years physicians have been sketching simple drawings to convey their physical exam findings. Many, including myself, would use a simple sketch as part of the progress note to document a finding that was simpler to draw than to explain with words. The added benefit was that when I reviewed my notes, it was faster to look at the sketch and know exactly what my findings were, rather than read one or two paragraphs of text.
A simple, clinical example is the use of a drawing to mark a skin cancer finding on the nostril. I may have drawn a simple sketch that looked like this:
With the conversion to EHR, physicians need a way to draw on anatomical images and pictures of their patients. Sketching on a piece of paper and uploading to the chart is too time consuming. Drawing saves time and often speeds the creating and deciphering of encounters.
The MediTouch® team has provided an eloquent solution to this challenge and, like all of our solutions, it is flexible; meaning it can be used on the native iPad® browser or any computer. In fact, we are the only EMR company that offers this type of drawing solution on the native iPad® browser — MediDraw®.
Let me tell you more about how MediDraw® works. Over 100 anatomical outline images are associated with the physical exam section of our SOAP encounter note. When the “get me an image” icon is tapped, the user is provided with anatomical drawings that match the most likely image for the body part in context. In addition, the user can draw on a picture of a patient finding that was uploaded to the chart via a smartphone. Yes, MediDraw® works on outlines of anatomical body parts and patient pictures.
Now let’s look at the MediTouch® way to document the skin cancer finding on the left nostril, using MediDraw®
It’s fairly obvious that these images are superior to my free-hand drawing!
For most EHRs, drawing is either not possible or too time consuming. MediTouch EHR® has created a fast and unique drawing tool, MediDraw®, that works great on the iPad® or any other computer. Now, encounter creation with MediTouch® has just gotten faster and more precise. Napoleon would be proud!