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Keep Transcription While Switching to an EHR!

increased workloadThere is no doubt that the electronic health record (EHR) is a great tool for today’s busy health care industry.  The fact that patient records have come out of a record room and onto software allowing for centralized access is something to celebrate.  Productivity increases, patient care is improved, and it is easier now more than ever for doctors to effectively communicate with each other at a fast pace, rather than photocopy, fax, mail or call with information.  However, what companies are starting to realize is that the EHR is time consuming as far as patient visits go.  Time that was once spent talking with a patient and taking down notes for a later dictation is now spent filling in templates and typing.  Patients have come to rely on that important face time they get with their doctors, and the computer seems to get in the way sometimes.  If you’re shopping around for an EHR, don’t be so quick to discontinue your transcription services – here is why:

  • Your doctors all of a sudden go from practicing medicine to doing data entry.

  • Templates are hard to make personalized for every patient.  If you see a patient for a sinus infection, but they’re also depressed – are your EHR templates going to accommodate that?  Something is going to have to suffer, the patient, or the quality of the work.

  • Entering the basic information at the time of the visit and then paying a doctor or support staff to go in after and finish everything is essentially paying for the same thing to be done twice.  If you continue to use a transcription service, you can enter the basic notes and dictate from them.  Saving you time, and giving you more time with your patient.

  • There are a lot of EHR platforms that integrate with transcription using discrete reportable transcription (DRT) – allowing you to dictate and have that transcription uploaded right to the patient you’ve seen.

  • Increase productivity:  While there are a lot of ways that an EHR will increase productivity (ability to fax a pharmacy from your computer, sign off on notes, answer patient questions) the thing that now drags down time is the very thing that keeps an office running – patient visits! When a doctor’s office goes live with an EHR, they are often forced to cut down the number of visits they can have in a day so a doctor can catch up on entering information into their computers for each visit.  This seems backwards, right?  If you keep the transcription, you can keep that piece of your day the same, and patient visits won’t have to suffer.

  • Document more with less error:  Since the templates are so limited, you often have to force a place for notes.  One forgotten thing, or one spelling error – and you’re at risk for a lawsuit. Plus, the notes are more meaningful and detailed.

Those are just a few reasons as to why you should consider using an EHR with a transcription compatibility option.  The Government is giving some great incentives to go to an EMR, so you should absolutely take advantage of it, but they cannot dictate which EHR you choose.  To keep protocols as normal as possible, you should look for a way to keep dictation as a part of your regular day-to-day routine.

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Maine Special Education
Bernd Group
Swardlick
Sun Life Financial
Saint Francis
Social Security Administration
South Portland High School
School
Sappi Fine Paper
RG-E
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