With EHR adoption there is an opportunity to improve the health of your patient population. There are certain tasks that become more accurate when the processing power or formatting of an EHR is leveraged. This is one in a series of articles that explains how the “Holy Grail” of improving quality at the point of care is achieved with MediTouch EHR®. See our prior post on MediTouch Health Maintenance.
When speaking to providers that are considering the move to EHR from paper
charts we commonly hear that they feel that it may be challenging for them to find the mission critical data required to make clinical judgments efficiently and accurately. Those providers have an almost sentimental attachment to their paper chart. With the paper chart they “know where everything is”. To a layperson the paper chart may appear cluttered and so 20th century. To the provider that paper chart is a familiar resource chock full of medical data. There is a very good reason why physicians may feel this way.
When it comes to giving a doctor a fast and easy way to look at all of the clinically significant data relating to a patient most EHR vendors don’t get it right. It’s a little like the three bears, some offer too much, some too little but most don’t get it “just right”. Some EHRs provide a single screen with so much data that the important data just doesn’t stand out and trying to find the clinically significant data is dizzying. Other vendors spread out the data such that there is no central place to review all of the data in an organized fashion. A recent article in the DO magazine featured a physician that understandably explained, “Moving from screen to screen is the most frustrating thing with this system. With a paper chart, I quickly flipped through it to get from one part to the next.” Also, because (the doctor) is focused on the computer screen while recording data, eye contact with patients is compromised.
Extracting clinically significant lab results from electronic lab result transmissions is especially challenging. Consider that the provider must filter through multiple panels and each panel may be comprised of dozens of results. One lab order could mean dozens of individual results. Easy to review one time, but not easy to retrieve upon subsequent visits.
Providers need a solution that is “just right”, a single screen that presents the user with an easy to read synopsis of all of the patient’s history, medications, and clinically significant findings and events. They need MediTouch EHR’s® Longitudinal Patient Record and Interactive Timeline. With our Longitudinal Patient Record, providers can just glance at a single screen and learn everything they need to know about their patient in a “heartbeat”. They can scroll an interactive timeline that provides an innovative graphical view of events relative to the patient’s medical status. Any lab results that are marked clinically significant will display on the record and become part of the interactive timeline. No more searching for pertinent lab results.
We find it ironic that many doctors believe that their paper chart is more organized than their electronic record. If you asked a layperson what should be easier to digest they would obviously say that the computerized data should be simpler. The fact that providers such as the one quoted in today’s blog still long for their paper chart reflects the failure of most EHR vendors to recognize the mechanics of point of care clinical decision making. Viewing your patient’s history, medications, and clinical findings at a glance speeds up the encounter and is paramount to providing quality healthcare. The MediTouch® Longitudinal Patient Record is yet more evidence of our medical team’s commitment to our physicians’ goal of providing high quality healthcare.