Monday, November 28, 2011

Getting Information into an EMR: Solutions Vary

The installation of an EMR system creates an obstacle for healthcare entities: How to transform all the paper forms and physician-patient conversation into electronic health records.  There are certainly laptop-weilding tech-savvy physicians out there, and iPads are popular with the profession.  But for most, it's not practical to have a computer, no matter how small, play a role in the patient office visit.  Physicians converting to EMR are figuring out ways to get information that was collected in paper form into digital records so that it can be utilized and begin to meet meaningful use requirements.

-For some, dedicating a staff member, an office worker or medical assistant into the role has been the best way to ensure that electronic records are quality-assured and that they met the standards of the organization.

-Many physicians, group practices or hospitals have taken to hiring scribes in order to convert paper records and forms completed by the patient into digital records.   There are numerous companies offering this service.  A fee of $20 an hour is not unusual for these services. 

-For others, digital pens are a solution.  The heatlhcare worker or the patient will enter information into the digital pen as they fill out necessary forms.  One such pen product by Shareable Ink actually learns the users handwriting over time.