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EMR Obstacles – The Invisible Hoop

Apr 24, 2011
EMR Obstacles aka Jumping Through The Invisible Hoop When it comes to implementing an EMR (Electronic Medical Records) system there can be significant obstacles to the process. The primary hurdle is typically getting everyone on the same page as far as the concept itself. This can be particularly difficult in practices where the medical leadership is rather mature and less likely to buy into the whole concept of a record that they cannot feel and touch. The same folks that will be the last to Twitter or text may also be extremely hesitant to do away with the traditional medical record. However, the benefits of EMR are tremendous from a variety of perspectives, including ease of medication refill, clearer billing, sharper record takEMRing, and a reduction in lost paper. Most medical practices have had to make the emergency phone call to the hospital lab or radiology department in order to get testing results that no one can find in the patient’s chart. Frequently, this is happening as an impatient patient is waiting in an exam room which then leads to decreased patient satisfaction. EMR will put an end to most of that sort of waste of time. Once the medical staff is on board with the transition to EMR, the next step is training. The timeline for this piece of implementation is dependent on the skill level of the staff members. If the physicians graduated medical school in the 21st century it should be a piece of cake. However, if the folks in white coats received their MD when Eisenhower was in offices then the process may be a bit more sluggish. Once EMR is in place, another obstacle can be to do away with paper “just in case”. It is tempting to have this sort of back-up system, but the medical office truly does need to take a leap of faith while understanding the capability and reliability of the EMR system.  Should the office have any specific concerns about the dependability of the electronic system, then they should feel free to ask the EMR software companies detailed questions about the system in question. The final obstacle to the implementation of an EMR system is more of a delay issue. If the medical provider has a large scope of services they provide or there is a large volume to data to import, then there may be a delay in full implementation of the EMR system. Whatever the timeline and regardless of any resistance to the process, the wave of the future in medical offices across the country is EMR. The quicker each office gets on board, the sooner they get back to the business of practicing medicine.