Many physicians resist EMR adoption because they believe that they can complete a paper chart faster than an electronic one; we understand. I recently ran into a doctor that showed me his progress note for a patient with a sore throat. It read as follows:
- S. Sore Throat
- O. Throat erythema
- A. Pharyngitis
- P. Amoxil x 10d
Without opining on the completeness of this encounter note, the fact is that this doctor’s chicken-scratched, handwritten note could be completed in several seconds. The status quo may be hard to compete with, but the status quo may not be optimal. This encounter note would be difficult to code with any reasonable E/M code, creating more work for the doctor than the amount of time he must have spent on this encounter.
As clinicians and as an EMR vendor, we are not ready to accept what most EHR vendors profess – they explain away their slow charting process by rationalizing that they can enhance productivity by:
- Saving time, tracking patient data
- Helping organize patient encounters
- Enhance physician documentation
Organization saves time, but it is not an excuse for EMR systems and products that slow encounter speed to a halt. Providers need to quickly move through encounters, and they should not have to enter phrases and care plans repeatedly. Much of what physicians do or say, they have probably done or said before in a prior encounter; but only parts or segments of that prior encounter may apply to the patient they are currently treating. Providers need a way to fit together the jig-saw puzzle pieces of prior encounters, in order to help them build their current chart note. They need MediTouch® Grand Central – the best way to interconnect all of a provider’s best thoughts and observations for repurposing in a new encounter.
With MediTouch® Grand Central, every time a provider creates a new encounter, they can save that encounter for reuse as a MediTouch® Encounter Blueprint for just a single patient, either for themselves exclusively or for their entire practice. With patients who are seen regularly for chronic diseases, their encounter changes vary subtlety over time – a great example of a time to create a patient specific MediTouch® Encounter Blueprint. Other times, providers may decide that for certain patient complaints, the charting is nearly identical for all of their patients, a great time to create either a provider or practice-wide Encounter Blueprint.
One of the great features of MediTouch® Grand Central is that Blueprints can interconnect. For a new chart note there may be a set of findings for the Chief Complaint and HPI from one Blueprint, that should be combined with a set of physical exam findings from a different Blueprint. Interconnecting Blueprints is simple with Grand Central; by interconnecting the appropriate Blueprints, providers can customize their documentation for a specific patient encounter by re-using portions of prior encounters without having to create new findings or text from scratch.
Interconnecting Blueprints is a great feature, but let us assume that a Blueprint is nearly exact in accurately documenting the current encounter, but some portions need to be tweaked to precisely depict the clinical findings of the patient who is currently being treated. Blueprints link to all of the vast, structured data creation methods already built into MediTouch®; to customize a Blueprint the user can utilize the current encounter creation infrastructure they are used to using from building past encounters, “from scratch.” MediTouch® Grand Central is completely integrated with all of the great features already built into our EHR. That means we built Grand Central to work on the iPad®, requiring very few keystrokes to unleash the power of encounter creation with Grand Central.
Repurposing your hard work is an important requirement of EHR systems, and no system does that faster and easier than MediTouch®. Speedy encounter creation requires a system that reuses your prior work, and that can apply parts or all of that work to a future encounter. Do not accept the typical “EHR vendor speak” about all of the great reasons why it is a good idea for you to work harder and longer hours because EMR use is inevitable. Reject any EHR that requires you to do “homework”. Instead, your goal should be to chart at the point of care, in the exam room with your patient, just like the “old days”. MediTouch® Grand Central makes that goal a reality – on the iPad®, or on any standard hardware device.