Electronic medical records (EMR) made an entry with a bang. It was expected that EMR would improve physician efficiency and even replace medical transcription. However, many physicians are complaining that the use of EHR/EMR has seriously affected their efficiency. Many are worried that the digital systems are taking up their attention at the patient encounter and detracting from the quality of care. They are stressed and unhappy with the situation. While the digital systems do offer benefits, they come with some issues that need resolution:
- Lack of user-friendliness is a major challenge with the electronic record system. Given the fact that physicians are not data entry experts, they are finding it difficult to manage the point-and-click templates.
- Secondly, the software consumes most of their valuable time which would have otherwise spent effectively for improved patient care. With the busy typing task, they hardly find any time left for patient interaction. On the whole, the process seems to tire out the physician.
- Another important concern raised about EHR is that it is causing a lot of errors in the patient documentation. The software comes drop-down lists which suggest the rest of word when the first letter is typed. Physicians are making mistakes by choosing the wrong suggestion, affecting the patient care and reimbursement.
- Hospital software and EHR are expected to be HL-7 compliant so that data is shared. Even hospitals that have set up EHR are finding it a challenge to generate and share documents so as to meet the goal of ‘continuity of care’.
To ensure quality documentation and get more time to focus on patient care, it would be a good idea for the healthcare provider to team up with an established medical transcription company. With experienced transcription professionals, the right service provider would help to integrate medical transcription with EHR, thus improving the usability of the software. This would allow physicians to experience the benefits of the EHR without compromising on efficiency and productivity.