It’s no secret that most physicians are unhappy with their electronic health records. How is it that a piece of technology that was supposed to enhance patient care has become its biggest hindrance?
The problem is all in the design, not the data. As a result of the Meaningful Use Act, practices were forced to incorporate EHRs that were not fully developed. They were not ready. Sure, EHRs today perform their function when it comes to collecting data, but the way that data is presented is less than helpful for those using the software the most—physicians.
When you ask physicians today the top three complaints that they have about their EHR, these are the answers you will hear.
1. Impossible to find data
Yes, that EHR that you are constantly clicking through does contain every piece of information you are looking for. The data is there… it’s just hidden in a web of coding that you have to dig through. It is easy to get lost, and therefore frustrated, just looking for simple data that is needed for an encounter with a patient.
2. Takes time away from patients
The exam room used to be an intimate time between doctor and patient. There was a trust relationship built, and in that room, the sole attention of the doctor was focused on treating their patient and answering any medical questions they may have.
But nothing cuts intimacy like hiding behind a screen. Because of the difficulties of navigating these EHRs, half of the encounter is spent clicking through and searching for data. The patient is left feeling unsatisfied, and so is the physician.
3. Lack of interoperability for data sharing between systems
The great promise and hope when electronic health records were initially introduced was the ability to easily share health information between physicians, patients, and practices. However, the current systems do not allow for this kind of easy exchange. The focus of growth for EHRs in the next few years is on improving this challenge, but the fact that this promise was not fulfilled at the start has led many practices to feel disappointed and frustrated.
What are some solutions for easing your EHR woes?
Invest in tools that will create a more user friendly interface
Many practices feel frustrated with the headaches that their current EHR system causes. They have many complaints, but feel like the cost of adopting an entirely new system is far too high. While that may be true, there are technologies available that will work with your current EHR to create a system that is geared towards the physician. Invest in software that will present the data that you need in a faster, easier to navigate way.
Provide better training for your physicians
The biggest problem with the way EHR systems were installed in the past is that hardly any training was provided. Physicians were essentially thrown into the fire headfirst and told to figure it out. Practices that provide quality training on using their EHR in an exam room will find happier doctors, and happier patients.
Want to read more about solutions to your EHR problems? Download our free PDF, I Can’t Find Anything in my EMR! (It’s a Design Problem, not a Data Problem).