The best of both worlds — the Meaningful Use compliance of an EHR combined with maximum clinician productivity

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MedData has been meeting the needs of 100's of physicians for over 20 years.  We have been transforming our company from a transcription service to medical records specialists. 


EHRs have been a source of both promise and frustration. While they enable doctors to improve quality of care and remotely access medical records, EHRs also:

  • Require time-consuming data entry that could be better accomplished by clerks and scribes;
  • Were difficult to use;
  • Interfered with patient face-to-face interaction;
  • Lacked interoperability; and
  • Degraded clinical documentation

The current state of EHR technology has introduced several impediments to providing patient care, undermining physician professional satisfaction.  Many of these problems--such as the proliferation of clinical information that doctors don't trust--also should be of great concern to patients. Patients, providers, payers, and vendors all have an interest in improving the usability of EHRs and integrating them into clinical workflows that produce better, more efficient care.

A physician taking a patient’s history points and clicks a computer form to record information, but recognizes that many parts of the patient’s story will be lost because they don’t fit the template.  Couple the burden and disappointment of inadequate EHRs with the added obligation of entering data to a patient record at the rate of 30-40 keystrokes per patient, and physicians are left with much less time for real patient care.  A physician trying to learn more about a patient’s prior hospital admission can’t find the information he needs because the record is an example of “note bloat,” overflowing with big chunks of information that were cut and pasted from day to day, but containing little of real use.

Electronic health records (EHRs), widely touted as technological tools to improve patient care, have in fact increased physicians’ workloads and administrative burdens. Physicians complain that their digital record systems are interfering with face-to-face encounters with their patients.


In fact, a study in the American Journal of Emergency Medicine found that emergency physicians spent 43 percent of their time entering data into a computer, compared to only 28 percent of their time spent talking to patients.  It went on to say that “during a typical 10-hour shift, a doctor would click a mouse almost 4000 times.”


The primary area of concern is the documentation of the clinical notes. In most cases this slows the productivity down substantially and therefore they don't take the time to input all of the information that is needed for full documentation.


Software Advice, a website that reviews medical software, launched a survey on how to improve doctor-patient interactions in the EMR era and the results are finally in.  One of the suggestions for maintaining quality relationships was:  




This leaves the physician free to focus fully on the patient—making eye contact, watching for signs of relief or distress or holding a hand—rather than having one eye on a computer screen and both hands on a keyboard.



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