Without Training, Staff Can’t Properly Use Electronic Health Records Software
Both electronic health records and their more succinct cousins, electronic medical records, are a huge boon to the medical and health care industries. They help standardize forms, terminology, abbreviations, and data input. What’s more, online EHR and online EMR software can also improve a medical facility’s overall efficiency by about 6% per year.
So it’s more than a little surprising that, according to a 2014 survey of the American College of Physicians, family practice physicians spent 48 minutes more a day when they used EMRs. Even stranger, the Medscape Electronic Health Records Report 2014 also found that doctors thought the software decreased the amount of time they could spend with patients. If electronic health records and electronic medical records can make a practice all the more efficient, why then are they eating up so much time?
Simple — because medical professionals aren’t being trained to use their facilities’ electronic health records software properly. According to the Medscape Electronic Health Records Report 2014, 70% of doctors claim that they lost face-to-face time with patients as a result of having to figure out a new system.
Once properly trained, health care practitioners will find that electronic health records can improve the quality of care they offer, make things more efficient, and even help them screen patients better. After switching from paper to Electronic Health Records, nurses reported in one survey that they saw a reduction in the time it takes to properly document patients by up to 45 percent.
What’s more, according to a 2013 study published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine, EHR software was associated with significantly higher quality of care for patients with diabetes, breast cancer screening, chlamydia screening, and colorectal cancer screening.
There’s no doubt that EHR and EMR software can improve a medical facility’s operations, but in order to do so, staff must properly trained. Otherwise, the programs may wind up hurting more than helping.